IS claims responsibility for Australia attack

Policemen block members of the public from walking towards the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne Australia on Nov 9 2018

Australia: One dead in Melbourne multiple stabbing attack

One person was killed and others treated for stab wounds after a truck caught on fire and a man started attacking people with a knife in Melbourne's business district Friday.

"It looks like he's attempted to ignite a fire in the auto, we believe at this stage with a view to igniting those canisters with some sort of explosion, but that didn't eventuate", Commissioner Ashton says.

"I'm not at liberty at this point to disclose the identity of that person".

Supt Clayton said: "Nearby police quickly responded to the incident". The person is known to police.

Victoria Police confirms the attack, saying that the man and his entire family are known for his connections to North African extremists.

Commissioner Ashton said the man was known to police and the federal intelligence agencies.

In a statement police said a man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital in critical condition. One of the victims died from his injuries.

"(Officers) were confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them", Supt Clayton said.

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"A four wheel drive, utility, drove into Bourke St between Russell St and Swanston St and parked there".

"He assaulted one of the police offices through the vehicle window by punching him".

Police had been called to the vehicle at 4.20pm local time on Friday, by which point the man had already started attacking bystanders. He then engaged with members of the public at that location, " he said.

"This is something that we're looking for but there's been nothing obtained so far, showing that there's any ideological link between that ongoing trial and the publicity around that, and this event", he said.

"This is an evil and terrifying thing that has happened", Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said.

He was shot in the chest by police following his violent attack on pedestrians about 4.20pm on Friday.

"He seemed to be waving something, people around me screamed that he had a knife, but I couldn't see clearly from where I was", she said.

"I heard a massive explosion, the vehicle is completely alight".

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Police cordon off Bourke St after a vehicle explosion.

Witness Drew Hair told AAP that the suspect was dressed in a black tunic and white trousers and was about six foot four inches tall and of African appearance.

The exploded auto was inside a designated pedestrian area.

Witnesses have described hearing a loud bang during the incident.

The incident at Bourke Street Mall. I thought it was like what happened past year so I started running.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Witnesses called the stabbings "random", the ABC reports.

"The one who executed the ramming and stabbing operation in Melbourne (.) is one of the fighters of the Islamic State and he executed the operation in response to (a call) to target the citizens of the coalition", the ISIS news website Amaq said on Friday, according to news.com.au. He was shot as he tried to stab two officers and died later in Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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