Police consider extremist link in fatal Australian siege

Police are pictured outside the Buckingham Serviced Apartments in Brighton in Melbourne, Australia, June 6, 2017 after police on Monday shot dead Yacqub Khayre after he held a woman hostage.

An Australian man killed in a police siege on a Melbourne apartment building has been named as Yacqub Khayre, who was recently in court over his alleged role in a foiled terror plot.

The woman who had been held hostage was released and was unharmed, Ashton said, while Crisp confirmed the three officers' injuries were not life-threatening.

A fatal shootout claimed by the Islamic State group was being treated as a terrorist attack by Australian police Tuesday, as the prime minister condemned it as "shocking and cowardly".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the police were treating the siege as a "terrorist attack". Monday's incident "underlines the need for us to be constantly vigilant, never to be deterred, always defiant, in the face of Islamist terrorism", he said.

Khayre's home in the Melbourne suburb of Roxburgh Park, where he lived with his mother, was being searched by police on Tuesday.

The siege has ignited debate about local parole laws after it emerged Khayre had a history of violence and was released from jail past year following an aggravated burglary.

Ashton earlier told Nine Network television that police were aware of the gunman "in relation to terrorism matters, albeit some years ago".

The authorities said they had yet to determine whether the incident in the affluent beach-side suburb was terrorism-related, but Victoria state police said it was one line of inquiry.

Mr Ashton said Khayre had been on parole since being released from prison in November and 'there was nothing wrong with his parole until yesterday'.

"We've got three officers wounded at the scene in the gunfight with this individual, fortunately they look like they're OK", he said.

"The 'Age" website reported that the gunman reportedly called the Channel Seven newsroom during the standoff, telling them "This is for IS (Islamic State)".

The statement said he had acted in response to the group's public calls to supporters to carry out violent attacks against countries in the coalition that is trying to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Khayre was acquitted of a plot to attack Sydney's Holsworthy Barracks in 2009.

A man has described the terrifying moment assault rifle-toting special operations police officers handcuffed him after mistaking him for the Melbourne siege gunman.

"A man has been shot dead by police in the Bay Street apartment complex shortly before 6pm". Three people were convicted of conspiracy for that plot, which police thwarted before it could be executed.

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