Australian police are treating Melbourne siege in which a gunman was killed, as a “terrorist incident”. According to police sources
Heavily armed officers arrived at an apartment building on Monday after reports of an explosion and found one man already dead in the foyer.
Another man, Yacqub Khayre, was armed with a shotgun and holding a woman inside the building against her will.
Khayre, 29, called a broadcaster during the siege to say he was acting in the name of the Islamic State (IS) group.
A news outlet for the group claimed it had carried out the attack, but police said there was no evidence of it co-ordinating with Khayre.
Three police officers suffered injuries after Khayre engaged them in a firefight in which he was shot dead. The hostage was rescued unharmed.
Authorities were investigating whether Khayre, a Somali-born Australian citizen, may have temptd officers to the wealthy suburb of Brighton with the aim of confronting them.
Mr Ashton said comments Khayre made referencing IS and al-Qaeda had prompted the terrorism investigation.
Neighbours and people in the area described hearing loud gunfire at the scene.
“Everyone just panicked,” one witness, Luke Fourniotis, told the Herald Sun.
“I started running but I didn’t know where the shots were coming from so I had this thought: ‘Are they shooting at us?’ My heart was in my throat.”
Nearby resident Graeme Hisgrove said heavily armed police officers went through his backyard during the operation.
Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull said the case raised “grave concerns” about the parole system which he said would be addressed.
“How was this man on parole? He had a long record of violence. A very long record of violence,” Mr Turnbull said.
“These are important issues and Australians need to be assured that people who are a threat to their safety are not being released on parole.”
Mr Turnbull said Australia’s official terror threat level would remain at “probable”