Melbourne terror attack: Stabber drove car loaded with gas cylinders, says police

Police officers block members of the public from walking towards the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Sydney NSW, Australia Nov 09, 2018, 04.01 PM (IST)

Australian police said a Somali man who stabbed three people in the city of Melbourne on Friday drove a car laden with gas cylinders which caught fire and that they are treating the attack as terrorism.

The man stabbed three people, killing one before he was shot by police. He later died in hospital, Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.

"We don't believe there is an ongoing threat at this stage, but certainly we are treating it as a terrorism incident," Ashton said. He declined to identify the attacker, but said he was Somali with "family associations that are well known to us".

The counter-terrorism command has taken a lead role in the investigation.

car

A burnt out vehicle is surrounded by police tape on Bourke Street in central Melbourne, Australia, November 9, 2018.

Ashton added that security arrangements at Remembrance Day memorials and other public events scheduled over the weekend will be reassessed and it was likely police numbers there boosted.

The street where the car caught fire was the scene in January 2017 of a fatal but not terror-related incident in which a man drove his car at pedestrians at high speed, killing six people and wounding about 30.

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The man stabbed three people, killing one before he was shot by police. He later died in hospital, Victoria Police Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters.