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Australia: 6 dead, including attacker, after multiple stabbings spark panic at Sydney shopping mall

Hundreds of people were evacuated after multiple stabbings and a shooting was reported inside the Westfield Mall at Bondi junction. So far, the police have confirmed that one man was shot, while an infant was among those stabbed.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Sydney Updated on: April 13, 2024 16:11 IST
Australia, Sydney, shopping mall attack, stabbings
Image Source : AP People being evacuated from the shopping mall in Sydney

Sydney: At least five people and a suspect were killed in a Sydney shopping mall on Saturday after multiple stabbings that left multiple people injured, including a small child, according to police. Crowds were seen fleeing the mall after reports of multiple stabbings and a possible shooting there have sparked a major police response. 

A single person began stabbing people in the mall, attacking nine people, before a police inspector shot him, Assistant Police Commissioner Anthony Cooke told reporters. Hundreds of people were evacuated from the shopping centre after the incident and the police advised people not to go there.

Several posts on social media showed crowds fleeing the mall and police cars and emergency services rushing to the area. The police have confirmed that five people and the suspect have been killed. Cooke said the suspect acted alone and there was “no continuing threat.” He said officials didn’t know who the offender was yet, and there was no indication of motivation. (Warning: Videos may contain disturbing visuals)

People moving through the streets of Bondi Junction have reported that a mother and baby are among the stabbing victims, according to the Guardian. One man said he held the baby as he and others tried to compress the wound, while the mother suffered from more significant bleeding.

PM Albanese offers condolences

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was informed about the shopping mall attack at Bondi Junction. "Tragically, multiple casualties have been reported and the first thoughts of all Australians are with those affected and their loved ones. Our hearts go out to those injured and we offer our thanks to those caring for them as well as our brave police and first respondersm" he said on X.

"A critical incident has commenced following the shooting of a male at Bondi Junction. Just before 4 pm (Saturday 13 April 2024), emergency services were called to Westfield Bondi Junction following reports of multiple people stabbed. People are urged to avoid the area. Inquiries are continuing in relation to the incident and there are no further details," said the New South Wales police in a statement.

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 of the witnesses said. One witness said they saw a woman lying on the ground and took shelter in a jewellery store.

A New South Wales Ambulance spokesperson said that eight people, including a child, had been taken to hospital. "If she did not shoot him, he would have kept going, he was on the rampage," said an eyewitness, who saw the attacker being shot. "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."

This came a day after a 16-year-old boy was charged with murder after two stabbings, one of which resulted in the death of another teenager, near a school in western Sydney on Friday. Emergency services responded to reports that two teenagers had been stabbed near a school on Power Street in Doonside at about 3:40 pm on Friday.

(with inputs from agencies)

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