A man set fire to a pickup truck laden with gas cylinders in the centre of Melbourne city and stabbed three people, killing one, before he was shot by police in what they called a terrorist attack claimed later by Daesh.
Policemen block members of the public from walking towards the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne, Australia, November 9, 2018. (Reuters)
Australian police on Friday said a Somali man, who stabbed three people in the city of Melbourne on Friday, drove a car laden with gas cylinders which later caught fire and that they are treating the incident as a terror attack, claimed by Daesh.
The suspect stabbed three people, killing one, before he was shot by police. He later died in hospital, Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.
“We don’t believe there is an ongoing threat at this stage, but certainly we are treating it as a terrorism incident,” Ashton said.
He declined to identify the attacker, but said he was Somali with “family associations that are well known to us.”
“The perpetrator of the operation… in Melbourne… was an Islamic State (Daesh) fighter and carried out the operation… to target nationals of the coalition” fighting Daesh, Amaq reported a militant security source as saying.
Ashton added that security arrangements at Remembrance Day memorials and other public events scheduled over the weekend will be reassessed and it was likely police numbers there boosted.
Video posted to Twitter and broadcast on television showed a man repeatedly swinging an object at two police officers in the downtown area of the city.
One of the officers raises his weapon, a shot is heard and the man falls to the ground clutching his chest.
TRT Worldspeaks withMelbourne-based journalist Soraya Lennie for more details.
“Police shot the male in a chest and he is now in critical condition under guard in hospital,” Victorian police superintendent David Clayton earlier told reporters.
Police said they had initially responded to a car on fire. The bomb response unit has been called in and the streets closed to the public.
The street where the car caught fire was the scene in January 2017 of a fatal but not terror-related incident in which a man drove his car at pedestrians at high speed, killing six people and wounding about 30.