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Car plows into pedestrians in central Melbourne

At least four people have been killed and 20 others wounded after a car drove into pedestrians in the Australian city of Melbourne. Police say the incident was not terrorism related.

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Car plows through Melbourne pedestrians, 3 dead

Police said the car had been driving in erratic circles before it struck pedestrians on a busy shopping street in Melbourne's downtown on Friday.

"A male deliberately drove into the pedestrians in the mall. We currently have three deceased and 20 injured," Police Acting Commander Stuart Bateson told reporters. He added that the incident was not related to terrorism and that the male driver had been arrested at the scene.

"We have the offender in custody. There is no further threat to the public at this stage," he said.

A fourth person died later in hospital from the injuries sustained.

Emergency services have locked down the city center, with tram and bus services suspended. Television footage of the area showed heavily armed officers patrolling the streets and a red car with a smashed windscreen.

"At this present stage, we ask the public to avoid the city," Bateson told reporters. "It is going to take us a really long time to process this scene. Our priority at the moment is with the injured, and it must be that we give them our attention."

Melbourne - Australia’s second-largest city - is currently hosting thousands of extra tourists attending the Australian Open tennis grand slam, which is taking place only a few blocks from where the incident took place.

nm/kl (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

 

 

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