Islamic State claims Melbourne knife attacks

Islamic State says one of its fighters staged multiple street stabbings during evening rush hour in Melbourne on Friday leaving one victim dead.

Earlier, Victoria police said they were treating the incident as a terror attack.

A  knife-yielding Somali national killed one pedestrian and seriously injured three others before he was shot dead by police in the busy Bourke St.

Police arrived around 4.20pm after receiving reports of a car on fire near Swanston Street corner.

When officers got out of their vehicle, they found a car bursting in flames and a tall man in Islamic clothing and of African appearance rushing towards them. A man tried to help the police by sending a luggage trolley hurtling towards the knife-yielding man. Later, his heroic act was hailed on social media.

Onlookers warned the two police officers that the man had already attacked three people and he should be shot.

As the man lunged at the two officers to slash and stab them, one of them shot him in the chest sending him rolling on the ground. He later died in a local hospital.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said they are viewing the stabbing incident as an act of terrorism.

The attacker from Somalia was known to state and federal police. His relatives were known to police in connection with terrorism.

While onlookers claimed the knife-yielding man yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is great’) during the attack, Ashton said this has to be confirmed.

He said one of the people stabbed died at the scene.

Of the three people hurt in the knife attack, one had a neck injury and another had head injury.

Earlier, the Somali national drove his car to Swanston Street corner and set it afire by throwing something at the barbecue-style gas canisters placed inside the car.

Friday’s incident comes as a trial into the deadly car rampage last tear in Bourke Street continues. Six people died after James ‘Dimitrious’ Gargasoulas allegedly ploughed his car through the busy pedestrian mall on January 20 last year.

In September, a knife-wielding man went on a rampage before he was arrested in Melbourne’s CBD.