Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Melbourne attacker also planned explosion, says Australia police

Melbourne attacker also planned explosion, says Australia police

UPDATE: A MAN has been shot by police after setting a vehicle on fire and allegedly stabbing a number of people in Melbourne's Bourke St.

A man was shot by police after setting his vehicle on fire and stabbing three people and killing one in the city's central business district.

Bourke Street is now blocked between Swanston and Russell streets, and people are being advised to avoid the area.

He later died in hospital, Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.

His brother Ali Khalif Shire Ali allegedly plotted a large-scale attack at Federation Square on New Year's Eve.

Video of the incident, which some readers might find disturbing, can be seen here. He also said police don't think there's any "ongoing threat" to the public.

Police officers who apprehended the suspect are being treated for cuts and scrapes and are not thought to be in a serious condition.

Dramatic footage captured from the scene shows officers try to apprehend the man following his stabbing attack.

Police have not revealed the identity of the deceased man, but media reports have named the victim as Sisto Malaspina, the owner of Melbourne's iconic Pellegrini's Espresso Bar.

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A third person has also been taken to hospital, although the nature of their injuries is not yet known.

One witness said one of the stabbing victims, believed to be a man in his 60s who later died, was stabbed in the face, and that desperate efforts were made to save him.

He had planned to set the auto on fire and ignite three gas bottles in the rear tray, creating a deadly fireball that would create chaos in the CBD, before he died at the hands of police. A bomb squad has since rendered the auto safe.

Morrison said he had long-standing relationships with the Muslim community and it was them who had raised with him concerns about radicalism in recent years.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility.

"It looks like he's attempted to ignite a fire in the auto, we believe at this stage with a view to igniting those canisters with some sort of explosion, but that didn't eventuate", Commissioner Ashton said.

They also confirmed in a statement that joint counter terrorism team investigators were executing search warrants at two addresses in Werribee and Meadows Heights this morning. There is no ongoing threat that we are aware of in relation to that individual.

The street where the auto caught fire was the scene in January 2017 of a fatal but not terror-related incident in which a man drove his vehicle at pedestrians at high speed, killing six people and wounding about 30. In December, a different driver in Melbourne drove into more people, injuring at least 19.

In a series of tweets, Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria state, called the incident "an act of terror struck the heart of our city, in a place where past wounds have still not healed".

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