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Two dead, including attacker, in Melbourne stabbing

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A policeman stands near a body covered with a sheet near the Bourke Street mall in central Melbourne, Australia on November 9, 2018. REUTERS

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A man stabbed three people in the Australian city of Melbourne today, killing one, before being shot by police.

The attacker, identified as a Somali national, was later confirmed dead in the hospital.

Police initially said the stabbing spree has “no known links to terrorism”, but has later said counter-terrorism investigation underway.

“What we know so far about the individual…from what we know, we are treating this as a terrorism incident,” said Graham Ashton, chief commissioner of police in Victoria, adding that the attacker drove a car laden with gas cylinders which caught fire.

Mr Ashton declined to identify the attacker, but said he was Somali with “family associations that are well known to us.”

Videos broadcast on Australian televisions and social media showed the man swinging a knife at two police officers in the city’s crowded Bourke Street, while a car burned in the background.

One of the officers then shot the man and he collapsed to the ground clutching his chest, the video showed. Other footage showed two victims lying on the ground nearby and bleeding.

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