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

Police have responded to an incident involving a knife weilding man in Melbourne's CBDMore

Police have responded to an incident involving a knife weilding man in Melbourne's CBDMore

The lone terrorist who fatally stabbed a man in Bourke Street on Friday planned to cause an explosion in Melbourne by igniting gas cylinders in his auto, police say.

Officials are treating the incident that brought Melbourne to a standstill during Friday afternoon rush hour as terrorism-related.

A video shared on Twitter clearly showed the attacker, a dark-skinned middle-aged man wearing a black sweatshirt, viciously swinging the knife he used to stab the civilians at police officers at the scene.

Ambulance Victoria said three people were injured at the scene, including one person who suffered a neck injury and is in a suspected critical condition.

"We don't believe there is an ongoing threat at this stage, but certainly we are treating it as a terrorism incident".

Commissioner Ashton said weekend events at Flemington and Remembrance Day commemorations will still go ahead as planned.

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

The suspect was shot in the chest by police, Clayton said.

More than 100 police swarmed on the area. The person is known to police.

The three stabbing victims, one dead, were all men.

A fight then began with local police challenging the man as one bystander used a shopping trolley in an attempt to end the stabbings.

The suspect was was hospitalized in critical condition.

The man crashed a utility at the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets before exiting the vehicle as it caught alight, and then attacking nearby passers by.

The bomb squad is on the scene.

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

Islamic State has claimed the attack was carried out by one of its members, according to its propaganda agency Amaq. His identity was not revealed but police said he came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s.

Witness Chris Newport, 60, described how he first heard a loud noise and saw a truck on fire, rolling across the tram tracks before a second, louder bang.

Bourke Street Mall, a pedestrian strip and shopping area popular with foreign tourists including Japanese, was previously the scene of auto rampage in 2017 that left six people dead.

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