Friday, June 14, 2024

6 killed, including suspect, in stabbing attack at Sydney’s shopping centre

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Six people were killed, including a suspect, in a stabbing attack at a busy Westfield shopping centre in Sydney’s Bondi junction on Saturday morning.

According to reports, the assailant was shot by a police officer during the rescue operations.

Police enter the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping mall after a stabbing incident in Sydney (AFP)

Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke told reporters that he was “content that there is no continuing threat.” He said officials did not know who the offender was. “This is quite raw,” he said, and a ”lengthy and precise” investigation was just beginning.

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Cooke also said there was “nothing that we are aware of at the scene that would indicate any motive or any ideology”. He also said that the police have not ruled out the angle of terrorism.

He added that the senior police inspector, who confronted the suspect, was alone. “She engaged him soon after her arrival on the scene, saving a range of people’s lives,” he said.

Authorities evacuated the shoppers from the shopping complex soon after the incident. Several videos doing rounds on social media showed ambulances and police cars around the shopping centre. Paramedics were also seen treating patients at the scene.

Police officers work at the scene outside Bondi Junction following reports of stabbings in the mall, in Sydney, Australia April 13, 2024.(Reuters)
Police officers work at the scene outside Bondi Junction following reports of stabbings in the mall, in Sydney, Australia April 13, 2024.(Reuters)

Two witnesses told Reuters they heard shots fired. “Even 20 minutes after people were rushed out of the mall, I saw SWAT teams of people sweeping the surrounding streets,” one witness said.

Another witness described the police officer shooting the attacker to state broadcaster ABC.

“If she did not shoot him, he would have kept going, he was on the rampage,” said the man, who did not give his name. “She went over and was giving him CPR. He had a nice big blade on him. He looked like he was on a killing spree.”

Meanwhile, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese condemned the attack on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Tragically, multiple casualties have been reported and the first thoughts of all Australians are with those affected and their loved ones,” he wrote.

(Inputs from Reuters, AP)

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