Melbourne Stabbing Spree Leaves Two Dead, Including Attacker

Melbourne Stabbing Spree Leaves Two Dead, Including Attacker

Melbourne attack: Man shot dead after fire and fatal stabbing

A burnt out vehicle is seen on Bourke Street in Melbourne, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.  (James Ross/AAP Image via AP)

A knife attack that left one dead and two others wounded Friday in Australia’s second-largest city in the middle of rush hour is linked to terrorism, police said.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The militant group said in a statement released through its Aamaq media arm that the man was ‘‘one of Islamic State fighters’’ and carried out the attack in response to IS calls for attacks in countries that are part of the international coalition fighting the militants in Syria and Iraq.

The standoff in Melbourne came after police responded to reports of a burning vehicle. Officers were confronted by a man “brandishing a knife and threatening them,” while passers-by alerted police that people had been stabbed, Victoria state police Superintendent David Clayton, said.

The suspect, who wasn’t immediately identified, was shot by police and later died at a hospital. Officers tried to “talk the suspect down” and used a Taser before shooting him, Sky News Australia reported.

Victoria state police Commissioner Graham Ashton says the suspect, who was originally from Somalia, was known to police, mostly because of family members who were “persons of interest” to police.

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

Police said the driver got out of the vehicle, which then caught fire, and attacked three bystanders with a knife before being fatally shot by police.

It wasn’t clear whether the man deliberately set the vehicle on fire, Ashton said. There were gas canisters inside the vehicle, according to Sky News.

Videos – some too graphic to publish in full – show the bearded knifeman slashing at police before he was shot in the chest by cops. 

Person killed in stabbing attack in Melbourne, ISIS claims responsibility

The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack through its propaganda wing, according to SITE Intelligence Group. However, terror organization didn't offer any evidence.

While police initially believed the incident wasnt terror related, the Herald Sun has since reported the man was known to ASIO. 

The two wounded stabbing victims were in the hospital. One had a head injury and the other suffered a neck injury, according to The Age. Their conditions weren’t made known.

Another dramatic video shows two presumably plain-clothes police officers arresting the attacker after he was shot.

SYDNEY — Police shot a knife-wielding man Friday after he fatally stabbed one person and injured two others in the center of Australias second-largest city. Police were investigating the incident in Melbourne as suspected terrorism, and they were re-evaluating security plans for upcoming public events. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) issued a statement claiming responsibility later on Friday.

The incident, which brought central Melbourne to a standstill in the late afternoon rush, came after police responded to reports of a burning vehicle.

Stabbings are not frequently reported in Australia. However, its European allies, including the UK, Germany, and France, have faced a wave of such attacks in recent years. One of the latest stabbings occurred in Ravensburg, in southwestern Germany in September, which left several people injured. Less than two weeks before the incident in Germany, a knife-wielding man was arrested after he assaulted a police officer in Brussels.

Police report multiple stabbing incident in Melbourne

Officers were confronted near the burning car by a man “brandishing a knife and threatening them” while passers-by called out that people had been stabbed, Victoria state police Superintendent David Clayton said.

A policeman stands near a body covered with a sheet near the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne, Australia, Nov. 9, 2018, after a stabbing attack.

It is reported that the attacker burned a car before starting his knife attack. Some witnesses claim they saw a car driving at high speed and crashing after missing a tram, according to ABC. Others reportedly saw the suspected driver getting out of the car and throwing “something like a bomb” inside before it caught fire. 

Clayton said investigators did not believe there were any other assailants. The man was shot in the chest by police and died of his injuries in hospital.

“What we know so far about the individual… from what we know we are treating this as a terrorism incident,” Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told media. Elaborating on the details about the man’s identity, officials said he came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s, yet stopped short of giving more information.

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

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Police treating fatal Melbourne knife attack as a terrorist incident

“We dont believe there is an ongoing threat at this stage, but certainly we are treating it as a terrorism incident,” Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said later Friday.

Ashton didnt give the Somali attackers name, but said the man had “family associations that are well known to us.”

Melbourne, Australia, knife attacker stabs three in busy street

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a vague statement released by its self-styled news agency Amaq, calling the attacker one its soldiers but offering no identification or other information to prove any link with the man. The terror group has issued previous claims without offering evidence to prove any link, but in other cases subsequent videos have shown attackers pledging allegiance to ISIS.

He said security for large upcoming public events, including commemorations for Remembrance Day on Sunday, would be reassessed and possibly boosted.

Police report multiple stabbing incident in Melbourne

Victoria police tweeted a request for witnesses to speak to police and share any images that might help the investigation.

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