Australian police say stabbing attack linked to terrorism

The dramatic scene was captured by Twitter user @chrismacheras

"Three people have been stabbed, unfortunately one is deceased at the scene, two other victims are now in hospital", police Superintendent David Clayton told reporters 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.

Clayton said there is no known link to terrorism, but stressed the investigation is still in its early stages.

He was shot by police and died shortly after arriving at hospital under police guard.

Witnesses said the man began attacking pedestrians near a pickup truck apparently belonging to the attacker which had exploded into flames. Other footage showed two stab victims lying on the ground nearby. Police are treating it as a terrorist incident.

"Passers-by were calling out that members of the public had been stabbed", Supt Clayton said.

At a press conference, a police spokesperson said there are no links to terrorism at this stage.

It's at this point, with the attacker slashing at the police, one of the officers has enough time and space to shoot him once in the chest.

A handful of videos and images uploaded to social media appear to show the man attempting to stab police before he is shot.

Police said the driver got out of the vehicle, which then caught fire, and attacked three bystanders with a knife before being fatally shot by police.

As police surrounded the man, two bystanders stood in to assist, one of which using his shopping trolley as a weapon.

"The exact circumstances are yet to be determined".

One listener said he could see a white sheet over a body.

The police and State Premier Daniel Andrews asked people to avoid the area.

More than 100 police have swarmed on the area.

Melbourne was also the scene of two fatal car-ramming incidents past year, but neither was linked by police to terrorism.

Melbourne resident Meegan May tweeted: "Chaos in Bourkest as a guy seems to have set his vehicle on fire then attacking police with a knife".

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