Police label shootout in Melbourne, Australia a terror attack

Monday night there was a shootout at an apartment building in Melbourne, Australia. Police are now saying they are treating the incident as a terror attack. From the Associated Press:

Australian police said on Tuesday that a shootout in which two men died, three police officers were wounded and a female hostage was freed was being treated as a terror attack.

Police were called to an apartment building in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton on Monday in response to reports of an explosion and discovered the body of a man in the lobby. Police tried to negotiate with a gunman in one of the apartments, an official said.

The gunman later left the building and shot three officers before police killed him. Two of the wounded police officers were taken to a hospital, and the other was treated at the scene.

According to the Guardian, a woman was “lured” to the site and was then taken hostage by the gunman. The Australian reports that a woman claiming to be a hostage called a local news station during the standoff with police:

The first caller, an apparently distraught woman, told a station staff member at 5.41pm: “This is the Brighton hostage.’’

The Seven Network said that a man then declared: “This is for IS. This is for al-Qa’ida.’’

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, though police say they don’t believe that proves the attack was planned in advance. The Herald Sun has identified the attacker as Yacqub Khayre:

In 2009, Khayre was involved in a suicide bombing plot targeting an army base. The plot was foiled and the Guardian reports Khayre was convicted and later acquitted of involvement in that plot. However, Khayre was later convicted of armed robbery and was on parole at the time of the attack last night.