One killed, two in­jured in Aus­tralia knife at­tack

Boston Herald - - OBITUARIES -

SYD­NEY — A knife-wield­ing man stabbed three peo­ple, one fa­tally, in Aus­tralia’s sec­ond-largest city yes­ter­day in an at­tack po­lice linked to ter­ror­ism.

The at­tack dur­ing the af­ter­noon rush hour brought cen­tral Mel­bourne to a stand­still. Hun­dreds of peo­ple watched from be­hind bar­ri­cades as po­lice tried to ap­pre­hend the at­tacker.

Po­lice said the man got out of a pickup truck, which then caught fire, and at­tacked three by­standers with a knife. He also at­tempted to at­tack po­lice who ar­rived on the scene be­fore be­ing shot in the chest by an of­fi­cer.

The sus­pect died later at a hos­pi­tal. One of the vic­tims also died, while the two oth­ers were hos­pi­tal­ized.

Po­lice said the at­tacker’s ve­hi­cle con­tained sev­eral bar­be­cue gas cylin­ders in the back. A bomb squad ren­dered them safe with­out any ex­plod­ing.

Vic­to­ria state po­lice Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ash­ton said the sus­pect, who was orig­i­nally from So­ma­lia, was known to po­lice and the in­ci­dent was be­ing treated as ter­ror­ism.

“From what we know of that in­di­vid­ual we are treat­ing this as a ter­ror­ism in­ci­dent,” Ash­ton told re­porters, adding that the po­lice coun­tert­er­ror­ism com­mand was work­ing on the case, as well as homi­cide de­tec­tives.

“He’s known to po­lice mainly in re­spect to rel­a­tives that he has which cer­tainly are per­sons of in­ter­est to us, and he’s some­one that ac­cord­ingly is known to both Vic­to­rian po­lice and the Fed­eral in­tel­li­gence au­thor­i­ties,” he said. He did not elab­o­rate.

The Is­lamic State group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack in a state­ment re­leased through its Aa­maq me­dia arm, but pro­vided no ev­i­dence. It said the man was an Is­lamic State fighter and had re­sponded to IS calls for at­tacks in coun­tries that are part of the in­ter­na­tional coali­tion fight­ing the mil­i­tants in Syria and Iraq.

IS, which has suf­fered heavy bat­tle­field setbacks in the past year, of­ten claims at­tacks with­out any clear con­nec­tion.

Yes­ter­day’s at­tack oc­curred on the eve of a busy week­end in Mel­bourne, with a ma­jor horse race sched­uled for to­day and a na­tional league soc­cer match the fol­low­ing day. To­mor­row is also Re­mem­brance Day, when me­mo­rial cer­e­monies for World War I are held.


TER­ROR­ISM SUS­PECTED: A man is seen run­ning in front of a burn­ing ve­hi­cle in down­town Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia, yes­ter­day af­ter the driver stopped the ve­hi­cle and stabbed three peo­ple, killing one be­fore be­ing killed him­self.

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