Australian police say stabbing attack linked to terrorism

Australian police say stabbing attack linked to terrorism

The Islamic State group claimed a stabbing Friday that killed one person and wounded two others in the Australian city of Melbourne, its propaganda channel said.

Streets were closed, trams halted and nearby buildings evacuated as police rushed to the scene, which was crowded with shoppers and commuters late on Friday afternoon local time.

A large crowd of people also stood and filmed the man's confrontation with police.

Unverified video online shows a auto on fire pulled over to the side of the street.

He relentlessly thrusts the trolley at the man as he swings a knife in the direction of officers.

"One person has been taken to hospital with a neck injury".

In a later statement, police said the man assaulted police, fled on foot, then was shot while lunging at police with the knife.

Police were initially called to an incident in Bourke street, right in the heart of Melbourne, after reports of smoke and a vehicle in flames.

Victoria premier Daniel Andrews urged the public to avoid the crime scene, and thanked responding police officers.

Police are treating it as a terrorist incident.

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Mr Hair said two civilians became involved as well as two police, trying to stop the man from his attack.

Three people have been stabbed, including the fatality. "Unfortunately one is dead at the scene, two others are at hospital".

A witness, Markel Villasin, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio: "Bystanders were yelling out "just shoot him, just shoot him".

Victoria state police Commissioner Graham Ashton said the suspect, who was originally from Somalia, was known to police and the incident is being treated as terrorism.

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. They were immediately attacked by the suspect wielding his knife.

Chilling footage uploaded to social media shows the suspect repeatedly swinging the weapon at two officers before one of them draws their firearm and opens fire.

"For operational matters we now have the counter-terrorism command and the homicide squad dealing with this matter, and there are ongoing investigations being conducted by the counter-terrorism command", he continued.

UPDATE: A MAN has been shot by police after setting a auto on fire and allegedly stabbing a number of people in Melbourne's Bourke St. And that the area has been cordoned off.

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

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