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

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

Police said Shire Ali's Australian passport was cancelled in 2015 after an intelligence report he planned to travel to Syria, but an assessment was made that whilst he had radical views, he posed no threat to national security.

Police initially responded to a report of a auto on fire near the corner of Swanston Street about 4:20 pm (local time), Victoria Police said in a statement.

The cylinders did not explode and the fire was put out in 10 minutes, by which point the attack was over, though not before one man was fatally stabbed.

Footage captured the shocking scenes as a vehicle went up in flames and police shot the knife-wielding man in the chest after he confronted officers as they arrived at the scene.

"Three people have been stabbed, unfortunately one of them is deceased at the scene", he said.

"He is certainly someone who is known to both us and the federal authorities in relation to counter-terrorism and terrorism-related matters", he told Channel 7's Sunrise program. The attacker died later in hospital.

A fearless 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. He later died of his injuries in hospital, Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters on Friday. Sunday is also Remembrance Day, when memorial ceremonies for the First World War are held.

Police warned people to avoid the area and dispatched the bomb squad to secure the area and examine the burning auto.

Police then "shot the male in the chest and he is now in a critical condition, under guard at hospital", Clayton said.

The attack occurred on Bourke Street in the central downtown area.

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".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement released on Twitter: "Australia will never be intimidated by these appalling attacks".

"Because he was on his stomach, they turned him over to see if he's alright, he was still alive".

Two people, apparently members of the public, came to the aid of police, one using a shopping trolley and another using a chair to try and stop the attacker.

"This is an evil and terrifying thing that happened in our city and state today, and we condemn it", he said.

Yesterday's attack was a double blow for the city as it coincides with an ongoing murder trial of 28-year-old James Gargasoulas, accused of ploughing his vehicle into crowds in the same area in 2017, killing six people.

In December 2014, two hostages were killed during a 17-hour siege by a "lone wolf" gunman, inspired by ISIL, in a cafe in Sydney.

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