Melbourne attacker swings knife at police, 'trolley man' helps officers

Videos posted to Twitter and broadcast on television showed a man repeatedly swinging an object at two police officers

Police response was swift and overwhelming.

It is understood the man stopped his vehicle on Bourke Street, not far from the Target store, and set it alight.

Media showed video footage of police then trying to restrain a large man in a dark tunic who was lunging, slashing and stabbing wildly at two officers as a pick-up truck burned nearby.

"At the same time passers-by were pointing out that members of the public had been stabbed". The attacker was shot by the police after setting a truck filled with gas cylinders on fire and is now in critical condition in the hospital.

Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the events.

SBS News understands the offender is a Somali man known to ASIO and that his relative was arrested a year ago on terrorism charges.

Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton said that "there are no known links to terrorism".

Police say they were called to the area about 4.10pm after receiving reports of a auto on fire near the corner of Swanston St.

'One person has been taken to hospital with a neck injury.

"They were around him trying to take the knife out of his hand - I'm pretty sure it was a kitchen knife", he said. "A third person has also been taken to hospital".

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This image made from video shows police on street corner after a shooting in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. The vehicle was quickly extinguished.

Major disruptions are expected in the CBD on Friday evening, as details of a major incident in Bourke Street emerge.

Eyewitnesses told the ABC that a man was seen throwing something-perhaps a bomb-into what was allegedly his auto, which then exploded into flames.

"I didn't know what was happening there was just so much chaos and screaming".

The assailant punches one of the officers through the auto window.

Mr Hair said the assailant was dressed in Islamic clothing and of African appearance and about six foot four inches tall.

Simultaneously, one heroic eyewitness rushes at the attacker with a shopping trolley, briefly slowing him down and falling in the process.

He then started attacking people with a knife, stabbing at least three people.

The incident is being treated as terrorism, police said.

A witness filmed the horrifying scenes as the attacker tried to thrust his knife towards police on Bourke Street.

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