Melbourne stabbings being treated as terror attack by Australian police

A vehicle can be seen on fire in Bourke Street Melbourne

Officers said the vehicle contained several barbecue gas cylinders.

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

The deceased suspect had stabbed three people, leaving one dead and two others injured but they are not believed to be life-threatening wounds. He died in hospital.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews says the attack was "an evil and terrifying thing that has happened in our city and state today".

In the past, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for some "lone wolf" attacks in which the assailant was later found to have no allegiance to the group.

Ashton said the three victims, all men, and the suspect were transported to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The news report above came before police acknowledged that the man was already on the radar of Australian intelligence.

"The assessment was that person was not a threat at that time", Deputy Commissioner McCartney said.

"Having said that this is an ongoing investigation".

"I think it is fair to say he (Shire Ali) was inspired". He also said police don't think there's any "ongoing threat" to the public.

(9News) There is a heavy police presence at both homes. For further updates follow Victoria Police.

Police and civilians had tried unsuccessfully to subdue Shire Ali during Friday's attack, before police shot him in the chest.


"I know we use the word icon perhaps a bit easily or bit casually, but he and Pellegrini's and the staff and the people who've run that place since the mid-70s are part of Melbourne life", said the opposition leader, Bill Shorten.

"You're trained to shoot to kill, not to shoot to wound".

Friday's attack is a double blow for the city as it coincides with an ongoing murder trial of 28-year-old James Gargasoulas, whose vehicle ploughed into crowds in the same area in 2017, killing six people.

The 31-year-old and his family were known to counter-terror agencies at a state and national level and were believed to have ties with north African extremist groups.

Witnesses said the man began attacking pedestrians near a pickup truck apparently belonging to the attacker which had exploded into flames.

"I need to call it out".

He said Australia was under threat by a "radical and risky ideology of extremist Islam".

"We need to be ruthless and relentless against people who are going commit this sort of violence in whatever twisted, perverse definition of religion or ideology makes them to this".

Her immediate thought was, "Oh no, not another Bourke Street incident", she said.

"And they all died". I thought it was a vehicle backfiring but there was flames coming out of the auto.

Authorities said it was normal for people to have strong emotional or physical reactions after such a distressing or frightening event, and people should seek help from their doctor or by calling a helpline if they needed support. "Australians will never be intimidated by these appalling attacks".

"Keep being yourselves, keep being Australians", he said.

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