Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Melbourne attack: Stabbing spree in city center was terrorism, police say

Melbourne attack: Stabbing spree in city center was terrorism, police say

A man has killed one person and wounded two in a knife rampage in Melbourne that police are treating as a terror attack.

Victoria State Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told a press conference that the male assailant stabbed three men before one of the responding police officers shot him once in the chest at the scene.

Melbourne was also the scene of two fatal car-ramming incidents past year, but neither was linked by police to terrorism.

Reports say people were injured close to the area where the auto was set on fire.

A man has reportedly been gunned down by police after a vehicle crashed and burst into flames on Bourke Street Mall.

But as the attacks continued unabated, eventually one officer opted for lethal force, shooting the suspect in the chest.

He since died in hospital and was known to police.

Shire Ali had family and associates who were also known to police.

"There is no known link to terrorism at this stage", Clayton said.

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The cylinders did not explode and the fire was put out in 10 minutes, by which point the attack was over, though not before one man was fatally stabbed.

An Australian police officer stands outside a property that was searched by Australian counter-terrorism investigators, located in the Melbourne suburb of Werribee, Australia.

Police said the scene had been cordoned off, and it was being "made safe" by a bomb response unit.

The attacker, who has not been identified, was originally from Somalia but lived in Melbourne's northwest.

The first man was not deterred and sprung back into action, charging towards the attacker for a second time, shoving the trolley in his direction as police opened fire.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, released a statement: "I condemn the act of terrorism in Melbourne today that has tragically taken the life of a fellow Australian who has died as a result of this evil and cowardly attack".

According to them, the police initially responded to a report of a vehicle on fire near the corner of Swanston Street about 4.20 pm (10.50 am IST).

Memories remain fresh of a fatal but not terror-related attack on the same street previous year, in which a man drove his auto at pedestrians at high speed, killing six people and wounding about 30.

The attack occurred on the eve of a busy weekend in the city, with a major horse race scheduled for Saturday and a national league soccer match the following day.

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