Australian police say an attacker has killed five people in a stabbing attack at a mall in Sydney, with several others injured and in hospital, including a small child.

The attacker stabbed at least nine people in Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center before a senior police officer who was in the vicinity at the time shot him dead, New South Wales assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke said in a news conference Saturday evening.

Several of the victims are in serious and critical conditions, he added.

The attacker is not known to the police, and the motive is not clear, Cooke said, adding that the attacker is believed to have acted alone. Police are carrying out a critical incident investigation and have not ruled out terrorism as a motive, he said.

The large, upscale shopping mall is situated in the affluent Eastern Beaches area of Sydney, less than two miles from Bondi Beach.

The incident has shocked Australia, a nation where mass killings are extremely uncommon. There were 79 homicides in 2022 in New South Wales, a state of more than 8 million people. The most common homicide weapon was a knife, partly due to Australia’s tight gun restrictions.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had been briefed on the incident, writing on social media: “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 responders.”


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