Australian PM says Melbourne siege ‘a terrorist attack’
MELBOURNE – ReutersAustralian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on June 6 police were treating a deadly siege in the southern city of Melbourne as an “act of terrorism” after a claim by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that one of its fighters was the gunman responsible.
Police shot dead gunman Yacqub Khayre, who they said had a long criminal history, on June 5 after he killed a man in the foyer of an apartment block in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, and held a woman hostage inside.
Senior officials confirmed that Khayre had been acquitted of a plot to attack a Sydney army base in 2009 and was on parole for a violent home invasion at the time of the siege.
“This terrorist attack by a known criminal, a man who was only recently released on parole, is a shocking, cowardly crime,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in the capital, Canberra.
“It is a terrorist attack and it underlines the need for us to be constantly vigilant, never to be deterred, always defiant, in the face of Islamist terrorism,” he said.