1 killed, 2 hurt in Melbourne stabbing rampage

A vehicle can be seen on fire in Bourke Street Melbourne

One video showed the man repeatedly lunging at police officers with what looked to be a knife.

The attack during the afternoon rush hour brought central Melbourne to a standstill. The reason for the attack has yet to be confirmed.

He said that when police arrived, they were "confronted by a male brandishing a knife and threatening them".

He has been taken to hospital in a critical condition under police guard. A man was arrested at the scene and has been taken to hospital under police guard in a critical condition.

Police said they were "not looking for anyone further at this early stage".

The spokesperson advised a "small number of people" have been stabbed and police are not seeking anyone further at this time.

"We are treating this as a terrorism incident", Ashton said, and added that the attacker's identity is not being released due to the ongoing investigation.

A Reuters witness said that the city centre was closed off by police and that dozens of officers were on patrol.

The man again attempted to stab and slash at the officers several times before one policeman unsuccessfully tried to taser him. his partner then shot the attacker in the chest.

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Victorian police chief commissioner Graham Ashton told a press conference that the suspect drove a pickup truck to a location on a busy Melbourne street and set the vehicle on fire.

Police are calling for witnesses to come forward.

Another man was also seen on footage using a chair and attempting to hit the attacker with it.

"It's the center of Melbourne, where a lot of the transportation changes over ... it's probably the busiest part of Melbourne and late on a Friday", said Meegan May who witnessed part incident from a nearby tram.

About 4.31pm, police send out a media alert asking the public to avoid the Bourke Street area.

"The one who executed the ramming and stabbing operation in Melbourne (.) is one of the fighters of the Islamic State and he executed the operation in response to (a call) to target the citizens of the coalition", Amaq said.

Commissioner Ashton also says there is no suggestion that Shire Ali was inspired by James "Dimitrious" Gargasoulas, who is now on trial facing six charges of murder after allegedly mowing down pedestrians in January 2017.

State Premier Daniel Andrews described the attack as "evil" but said the city would not be bowed.

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