Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

One dead in stabbing rampage in Melbourne

An unverified An unverified
Kenny Thornton | 11 November, 2018, 01:00

A man who set fire to a gas-laden truck in the centre of Melbourne and fatally stabbed one person before he was shot by police was inspired by ISIS but did not have direct links with the group, Australian police said on Saturday.

Police shot the man when he approached officers swinging the knife.

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.

He stabbed three people, one of whom died at the scene, before being shot by police.

Armed officers carried out raids on two houses in the west and northeast of the city that are linked to his family and associates, but police believe there is no ongoing threat to the public.

The area has been cordoned off and the public are urged to avoid the area.

Police initially responded to a report of a vehicle on fire near the corner of Swanston Street about 4:20 pm (local time), Victoria Police said in a statement. He was taken into custody in a critical condition.

Other people on the scene threw chairs and tried to ram a shopping trolley into the attacker to take him out.

Victoria state police said counter-terrorism investigators were searching two properties in suburban Melbourne in connection with the attack, but there was no immediate word on what the searches yielded.

Authorities say he exited the burning vehicle and began stabbing passersby.

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Villasin said bystanders were screaming at police to shoot the knifeman.

Addressing the media, Superintendent David Clayton said that the man who attacked the people was shot in the chest and he is now critically injured.

A police statement said: "Police are aware of an incident in the vicinity of Bourke Street".

Police later said the auto from which the slain suspect, a Somali national, had emerged, contained gas cylinders and was on fire when they arrived.

"They're all very angry ... because it brings a bad impact to the community", he said.

One of those officers was forced to shoot Shire Ali in the chest - the 30-year-old later died in hospital.

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".

"Then I heard a loud bang and someone said they could see someone doing chest compressions on someone as an ambulance started coming up the street as well".

Yesterday's attack was a double blow for the city as it coincides with an ongoing murder trial of 28-year-old James Gargasoulas, accused of ploughing his auto into crowds in the same area in 2017, killing six people.

Bourke Street reopened on Saturday morning with an increased police presence in the area.

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