Melbourne CBD terror attack a 'wake-up call', Australian police say

One dead after man sets car set alight, stabs pedestrians in Melbourne

One dead after man sets car set alight, stabs pedestrians in Melbourne

The attacker was shot by police after confronting officers on a busy city street, authorities said.

A man has been arrested after setting a auto on fire and stabbing three people - one fatally - in central Melbourne, Australia.

The attack began just before the evening rush hour and lasted only minutes.

Victoria state Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said that Shire Ali, who was shot by police and died in a hospital, had also planned for his vehicle to explode, but barbecue gas cylinders in the back of his pickup failed to ignite.

"He is certainly someone who is known to both us and the federal authorities in relation to counterterrorism and terrorism-related matters", he told Channel 7's Sunrise programme.

The assailant had a minor criminal history of drug, theft and driving offences, and he lived in a suburb of Melbourne northwest of the city.

Sky News Australia's Patrick Murrell said police had tried to "talk [the suspect] down and tried to use the Taser" before shooting him.

A courageous bystander dubbed "Trolley Man" has been praised for his selfless actions in his attempt to halt the knife-wielding man who stabbed three people in Melbourne.

Bourke Street also reopened on Saturday morning, and a Reuters reporter said there was an increased police presence in the area. He died in hospital.

One innocent life lost, two people in hospital and hundreds of bystanders subject to what police are calling a terrorist attack.

Victoria Police said officers "initially responded to a report of a auto on fire" in the city center at around 4:20pm local time, as people began to leave work for the weekend. The Bourke Street Mall, including Myer and David Jones stores, have been evacuated.

"Trolley man", who has not yet been identified, has been praised online for his bravery, alongside several other members of the public who rushed to help the three victims who had been stabbed in the attack.

Video from the scene showed a man swinging a knife at two police officers near a burning vehicle before he was shot.

Mccartney described the attack as a "wake up call" even as the Islamic State loses territory in Iraq and Syria, where Australian forces are part of a coalition fighting the group.

The person is known to police.

Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said the attack was "an evil and terrifying thing that has happened in our city and state today".

Commissioner Ashton also says there was no suggestion that Khalif was inspired by James "Dimitrious" Gargasoulas, who is now on trial facing six charges of murder after allegedly mowing down pedestrians in January 2017.

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