Melbourne attack: Police link fatal stabbing, vehicle fire to terrorism

Cordon is in place around the burned out vehicle

Cordon is in place around the burned out vehicle

The video shows the man attempting to slash police officers with a large knife before falling to the ground.

Police initially responded to reports of a auto on fire at the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets.

"Police initially responded to a report of a auto on fire. a man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital under police guard in a critical condition", Victoria state police said in a statement.

A burnt out vehicle is seen in Bourke St on November 09, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

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

Chaos in #bourkest as a guy seems to have set his vehicle on fire then attacked police with a knife.

He died later in hospital.

Police said that there was no known link to terrorism at this stage and that "we'll keep an open mind as to whether there's any link".

The unnamed assailant, who came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s, was known to both state police and federal intelligence agencies.

The man had a minor offending history of cannabis, theft, and driving offences.

When asked if police should have shot Shire Ali in the leg rather than the chest, Commissioner Ashton said police were trained to kill if they believed their life or a member of the public's life was at risk. The two people who sustained stab wounds are receiving medical treatment.




"A man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital under police guard in a critical condition", it said.

Forensic investigators combed through the scene late Friday, where the dead victim's body lay covered in a white plastic sheet.

Police examine a body in Bourke St.in Melbourne, Australia, on November 9, 2018.

The victims' identities have not be made public, but Ashton said all three, including the deceased, are men.

A witness who gave his name as Markel told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio: "Bystanders were yelling out "just shoot him, just shoot him".

"He was breathing and he was bleeding out".

He said that when police arrived, they were "confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them".

The suspect punched an officer and threatened them with a knife.

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

Witnesses then described that the police attempted to disarm the man with the help of two witnesses as the suspect kept lunging at them.

"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.

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