Australian police say stabbing attack linked to terrorism

One person was stabbed to death and two others were injured Friday in a knife attack in central Melbourne that Australian police said they are treating as a terrorist incident.

Police responded to the scene on Bourke Street after receiving reports of a vehicle on fire, Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton told reporters shortly after the incident.

Police first responded to reports of a auto on fire in the Melbourne's crowded Bourke Street, when they encountered the suspect who was attacking bystanders.

Victoria Police said officers "initially responded to a report of a vehicle on fire" in the city center at around 4:20pm local time, as people began to leave work for the weekend.

At least one person was killed and several others were left wounded on Friday in Melbourne, Australia, after reports of multiple stabbing "incident", according to Australian police.

Police said the man got out of a pickup truck, which then caught fire, and attacked three bystanders with a knife.

"We are now treating this as a terrorism event", said Ashton, adding that the suspect is "someone that is known to us".

"We also take this opportunity to thank those very courageous and dedicated members of Victoria Police who did all of us proud in their very quick response in very unsafe circumstances", Andrews said.

"Having said that this is an ongoing investigation".

One had a neck injury, a second person had a head injury; and the condition and injuries of the third person is unknown.

Witnesses said the man - who was wearing a dark tunic - attacked members of the public in a popular shopping district with a knife as his vehicle was ablaze, before being confronted by police.

Police say they were called to the area about 4.10pm after receiving reports of a auto on fire near the corner of Swanston St.

Police said the man had punched a police officer in the face through his auto window when he first arrived at the scene.

The Melbourne attacker and some of his family members were known to counter-terrorism police.

"Someone had a shopping trolley and was trying to stop him". Other footage showed two stab victims lying on the ground nearby and bleeding.

Bourke Street is now blocked between Swanston and Russell streets, and people are being advised to avoid the area.

This week has also seen the trial of James Gargasoulas begin.

The Daesh group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released through its Aamaq media arm.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews posted an update on the situation himself, urging people to "please avoid the area and always follow the instructions of emergency services personnel".


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