Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

1 dead in Melbourne stabbing; man attacked cops before being shot

1 dead in Melbourne stabbing; man attacked cops before being shot

Police say the exact circumstances have not yet been determined.

It'sunderstood Shire Ali had three brothers and two sisters who attended the Al-Taqwa Islamic College in Truganina.

Raids have been carried out on properties in the Melbourne suburbs of Meadow Heights and Werribee.

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 a year ago in relation to committing acts in preparation for a terrorist attack.

"A man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital under police guard in a critical condition", police Superintendent David Clayton said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in Australia's second-largest city, without providing any evidence for the claim, according to Reuters news service.

EARLIER: A SERIES of explosions have been heard near Bourke Street this afternoon as police lock down the city.

Australian authorities said they were treating the attack as an act of terror and revealed that the suspect was originally from Somalia and was known to intelligence agencies.

People are at the scene of a major operation in Bourke St in the CBD after a vehicle crashed and exploded about 4.20pm.

A handful of videos and images uploaded to social media appear to show the man attempting to stab police before he is shot.

Here's what we know about the Bourke Street attacker.

However, police said they are unsure how the fire began.

It was also noted police are unable to get in touch with the Khalif's wife, and believe she is both missing and radicalized.

Mr Ashton said police were "doing security reassessments of these events in light of what's occurred", but there was "no ongoing threat we're now aware of in relation to people surrounding this individual".

"Somali-Australians are peaceful people, terrorism is a disease and scourge on society, we must do everything we can to ensure it is eradicated". One bystander tried to hold the knifeman at bay with a shopping cart, while others called for the police to shoot him.

"Anyone with information or who witnessed the incident is asked to go to Melbourne West Police Station to make a statement".

"He got out of the vehicle, engaged with some members of the public at that location".

Victoria's opposition leader, Matthew Guy also denounced the attack.

"But that also means I must be the first to call out religious extremism", he said at a press conference in Sydney today.

"All the resources of our state should be directed towards keeping Victorians safe".

State Premier Daniel Andrews described the attack as "evil" but said the city would not be bowed. Police are asking for members of the public to avoid the area.

Family friends say those close to Shire Ali are devastated by Friday's attack.

"It is at times like this when we need to be incredibly supportive and empathetic of all Melbournians because we will respond to this in different ways, and I hope that we can pull together as a community to really support each other".

"We need to understand and become familiar with risks and hazards".

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