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

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

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

"We ask the public, unless you've got a objective to be here, please avoid the area, we'll provide regular updates through the media in relation to when the area is safe and clear", he said.

-- 9:35 p.m. Australian police say a pickup truck that caught fire in the country's second-largest city contained several barbeque gas cylinders and was part of an apparent terrorist attack.

The ABC understands he is also known as Hassan Ali and Hassan Khalif, and recently moved from his family's Werribee home because of problems with substance abuse. He lived in northern Melbourne.

Witnesses said the attacker stabbed the victim, believed to be aged in his 60s, in the face.

One man charged at the tall attacker with a shopping trolley just before police drew their weapons.

He died later in hospital.

He stabbed three people, one of whom died at the scene, before being shot by police. "Two other victims are now in hospital".

"We are treating this as a terrorism incident", he said.

On Friday afternoon, his four-wheel drive burst into flames on the busy street, before he left the vehicle armed with a knife.

Witnesses have described hearing a loud bang during the incident.

The suspect was shot by police and died from gunshot wounds in the Alfred Hospital.

"He is known to police, mainly in respect to relatives that he has that are persons of interest to us".

A strong police presence is at both properties in Werribee and Meadow Heights.

Ashton said the authorities do not see any ongoing threat related to the attack.

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"We don't train people to wound people with firearms", he says.

"Thank you to the @VictoriaPolice officers who responded so bravely, and the every day Victorians who came to the aid of complete strangers", he wrote on Twitter.

Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews praised members of the public for stepping in. "There's only staff here, police told us to stay".

"Equally, those strangers, people who were by-standers who knew nobody involved, who stepped in without a moment's hesitation, to render support and assistance to the fearless members of the Victoria Police, they too are people whose qualities make all of us proud as well".

Victoria's opposition leader, Matthew Guy also denounced the attack.

Morrison closed his prepared remarks with a statement against "radical, violent extremist Islam that opposes our very way of life", saying he needed to "call it out".

"All the resources of our state should be directed towards keeping Victorians safe".

"He's someone that was known to us", he says.

He said he had been briefed by law enforcement and security agencies and acknowledged the investigation by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team, led by Victoria Police.

"The cops were trying to hit him with batons and he wasn't going down", he said.

Members of the public are asked to avoid the area on Bourke Street between Russell and Swanston Streets.

He's in a critical condition.

The mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, posted a message of support after the attack.

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