Man stabs multiple people after car set alight in Melbourne

Man stabs multiple people after car set alight in Melbourne

Man stabs multiple people after car set alight in Melbourne

A Somali man went on a stabbing rampage in the city of Melbourne on Friday after driving a auto laden with gas cylinders up on a footpath, where it caught fire, and police said they are treating the attack as terrorism.

The officers were immediately confronted by a man brandishing a knife and threatening them. He also attempted to attack police who arrived on the scene before being shot in the chest by an officer.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Saturday the Somalian-born Khalif, also known as Hassan Shire, was the brother of a man arrested by police late previous year in relation to committing acts in preparation for a terrorist attack.

Ashton said the attacker, who was shot by police and later died in custody, was known by the authorities because of family connections and had been in Australia for decades.

Ashton added that the suspect, who has not yet been publicly named, was known to counter-terrorism officials.

However, video posted to Twitter and broadcast on television showed a man repeatedly swinging an object at two police officers.

The area has been cordoned off and people have been asked to avoid the area.

At first, Ambulance Victoria three people were injured, one critically.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the "evil and cowardly attack".

Officers said the vehicle contained several barbecue gas cylinders.

Dramatic footage showed two police officers trying to arrest the man as he lunges and slashes wildly in broad daylight on Bourke Street with his vehicle burning in the background.

Police said Bourke Street between Russell and Swanston streets would remain closed until about 8am on Saturday.

The Islamic State group late on Friday said one of its fighters carried out the assault but provided no evidence for the claim, news agency Reuters reported from Dubai. While the utility truck carrying barbecue gas cylinders burned on busy Bourke Street, Shire Ali stabbed bystanders and attacked police.

Earlier, paramedics said they assessed three people at the scene.

The suspect is then shot by police in the chest and falls to the ground.

"Because he was on his stomach, they turned him over to see if he's alright, he was still alive", nearby KFC worker Markel Villasin told AAP.

Victoria Police said a 58-year-old and 26-year-old were taken to a hospital.

Friday's incident occurred in the same street where the accused driver James Gargasoulas allegedly drove down pedestrians during the lunchtime rush in January 2017.

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