Melbourne attack: CBD explosion part of plan

A vehicle can be seen on fire in Bourke Street Melbourne

A vehicle can be seen on fire in Bourke Street Melbourne

Authorities are praising members of the public who helped police take down a man who launched a deadly terror attack in Melbourne.

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.

"We thank our police, we thank those who came to assist them in the protection of other members of the public".

"He's known to police mainly in respect to relatives that he has which certainly are persons of interest to us, and he's someone that accordingly is know to both Victorian police and the federal intelligence authorities".

A auto was set on fire and a number of people were stabbed this afternoon before the knife-wielding man was shot by police.

Ali again attempted to stab and slash at the officers several times before one policeman tried to taser him unsuccessfully.

The attacker had "barbecue-style gas cylinders" inside the vehicle and set it alight, according to The Guardian.

Police then "shot the male in the chest and he is now in a critical condition, under guard at hospital", Clayton said. Police stepped up security at the racecourse, and said they would do the same for an A-League soccer match on Saturday night. He moved to Australia in the '90s from Somalia, and had a record of "minor" offenses, including marijuana use, some driving offenses and theft.

Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media as police chief Graham Ashton listens in Melbourne, Australia, on November 9, 2018.

One woman said she believed the parents, a daughter and a son still lived at the house.

Three person were stabbed in the Melbourne CBD this afternoon and one person is dead, along with the knifeman.

One person died at the scene and two others were being treated for their injuries.

All of the victims were men, Ashton said.

"Because he was on his stomach, they turned him over to see if he's all right, he was still alive", Markel Villasin, told Australian Associated Press.

"He was breathing and he was bleeding out".

Media showed video footage of police then trying to restrain a large man in a dark tunic who was lunging, slashing and stabbing wildly at two officers as a pick-up truck burned nearby.

Australia police said Saturday a man who fatally stabbed another and injured two in what they described as an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack in central Melbourne had also planned to set off an explosion.

A police statement said: "Police are aware of an incident in the vicinity of Bourke Street". They were immediately attacked by the suspect wielding his knife.

Police have said they believe the attacker acted alone and they are not searching for other suspects.

On Saturday, the Joint Counter Terrorism Team began executing search warrants on two homes in Werribee and Meadow Heights.

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