Australian police are treating a shooting and hostage situation in Melbourne that left two men dead, including the attacker, as an “act of terrorism”. It comes after Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for the drama.
“We are treating it as an act of terrorism,” Victoria state police Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Tuesday.
“We believe this person was there with those sorts of [terrorist] intentions, albeit we don’t know whether it was something planned or something spontaneous at this stage,” he said.
Victoria police shot dead the man involved in the hostage situation at an apartment in Brighton near Melbourne Monday, after he began firing on police just before 6pm local time.
Police have resolved a hostage situation in Brighton shooting a man dead and rescuing a woman being held against her will.
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) June 5, 2017
Police say the suspect had been holding a woman against her will at the Bay Street apartment complex. The body of another man was discovered in the foyer of the residence.
The Amaq news agency, which is affiliated with IS, said the shooting was carried out by a “soldier” of their terrorist organization, according to Reuters.
Earlier, Victoria Police Department placed the Bay Street area in lockdown following reports of an armed man in the area.
The man was shot dead at around 6pm local time police said. Three police officers also sustained non-life threatening injuries during the siege.