WATCH: Citizen ‘heroes’ stop deadly Australian knife rampage

Authorities said the woman was in a stable condition. (AFP)
Updated 13 August 2019

WATCH: Citizen ‘heroes’ stop deadly Australian knife rampage

  • Media broadcast showed the attacker jumping on a roof of a car
  • One of the witnesses said the attacker looked like he could have blood on his chin and chest

SYDNEY: A knife-wielding man killed one person and attempted to stab several others in a central Sydney rampage Tuesday before being chased and pinned down by members of the public, witnesses told AFP.

Police said a 21-year-old Sydney man with a history of mental illness is believed to have killed a woman of around the same age in a residential unit before going on the rampage across the city center.

The following video shows of the attacker being captured by members of the public contains language that some may find offensive.

New South Wales police commissioner said he had no known links to terror organizations, but he did have a thumb drive with details of mass-casualty white-supremacist attacks in the United States and New Zealand.

Witness Megan Hales told AFP she saw a man brandishing a large kitchen knife chasing several people through the busy central business district shortly after lunchtime.

A 41-year-old woman who was stabbed is now said to be in a stable condition.

“Five or six others were chasing him behind, trying to stop him, they caught him and restrained him” in front of two popular cafes in the heart of the city, Hales said.

Four of the pursuers were Colombian-born Alex Roberts, and Britons Lee Cuthbert and brothers Paul and Luke O’Shaughnessy — all colleagues at a recruitment consultancy who raced from their fourth-floor office to the street.

“We’ve opened the window and seen the guy wielding a knife and jumping on the bonnet” of a nearby car, Paul O’Shaughnessy, a former professional footballer, told AFP.

Convinced it was a terrorist attack, his brother Luke — a champion Muay Thai boxer — led the chase.

“We all just ran down the building and chased him down the street,” said Roberts. “Everyone was kind of panicking, no one really knew what was happening,” he said. “Not your normal Tuesday afternoon.”

Cuthbert said Luke, with the help of another man, “managed to get him down on to the floor and pin him down” with chairs and a plastic crate before police arrived.

“We’re a very, very close team, we’re a start-up recruitment company” he added. “We’re all brothers really, so when you see brothers running, your natural instinct is to go and follow.”

Police said despite indications the assailant shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “shoot me” it was not yet clear whether there was a political motive.

“It would appear at this stage it is unprovoked but we are keeping a very open mind as we move forward,” police spokesman superintendent Gavin Wood said, hailing the action of the bystanders.

“To approach a person... with clear evidence of a stabbing previously, these people are heroes.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also praised the bravery of the onlookers.

“The attacker is now in police custody following the brave actions of those who were present at the scene and were able to able to restrain him,” he said in a tweet.

“Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by this violent attack.”


Thai official dismisses Muslim insurgent demand on detainees

Updated 19 August 2019

Thai official dismisses Muslim insurgent demand on detainees

  • Officials of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional met a Thai delegation and demanded the release of detainees
  • The insurgency in the Malay-speaking region of the predominantly Buddhist country has killed some 7,000 people over the past 15 years

BANGKOK: A Thai deputy prime minister dismissed on Monday a demand made by a Malay Muslim group to free those detained over alleged links to the long-running insurgency in Thailand’s mainly Muslim south as a pre-condition for formal talks.
Officials of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) met a Thai delegation at an undisclosed location in Southeast Asia on Friday and demanded the release of detainees, a leader of the group told Reuters in a rare interview.
The insurgency in the Malay-speaking region of the predominantly Buddhist country has killed some 7,000 people over the past 15 years and has flared on and off for decades.
“How can you say that? Everything must follow the justice procedure,” Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters on Monday when he was asked about the BRN’s demand.
The BRN also demanded that the Thai government conduct a transparent investigation into alleged abuses by security forces after allegations that a man from the south, Abdullah Isamusa, 32, fell into a coma after being interrogated by the military.
The army said authorities were investigating and that there was no proof so far of torture.
The BRN, the most active insurgent group in the south, has opted to stay out of peace talks between the Thai government and other insurgent groups, although it said it held two previous meetings in recent years.
Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat provinces were part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate before Thailand annexed them in 1909.