Australia: Afghan man drives through crowd, hits 19 people

Paramedics at the scene
Paramedics at the scene

CCTV footage has captured the moment a man drove an SUV into a crowd of people as revenge for “the way Muslims are treated”.

Saeed Noori, a 32-year-old Australian of Afghan descent, is alleged to have driven the car through a Melbourne intersection yesterday mowing down 19 people.

Cops say he has a history of mental illness and drug abuse. He was released from hospital today and is in police custody and set to be interviewed.

Video captured by nearby security cameras shows the Suzuki Grand Vitara head towards a large crowd crossing the street.

CCTV footage shows the Afghan driving towards the crowd
CCTV footage shows the Afghan driving towards the crowd

The car appears to accelerate as it approaches the pedestrians and continues to charge through the crowds.

The shoppers disperse as bodies are flung on to the road after apparently being hit by the large vehicle.

Witnesses at the scene described seeing bodies flying “like dolls” after being hit.

Nine of the victims were foreign nationals and among them was a 25-year-old Irish woman who is in a stable condition in hospital, police said.

Victoria Police acting commissioner Shane Patton today revealed officers had spoken to him in hospital as investigators carried out search warrants and also spoke to his family.

He said: “During that (questioning) he made utterances, talked about dreams and voices but nonetheless did attribute his actions, he said, to the way that Muslim people are being treated, so based on that we haven’t ruled anything out.

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“Obviously we’ve done search warrants last night and we haven’t found anything at all to indicate his linkage or involvement with any type of extremism, with any terrorist organisation or anything of a terrorist nature.

“So given the mental illness background and everything we need to step carefully and the investigation is ongoing.”

Lachlan Read told the Herald Sun the incident lasted about 15 seconds.

“It was bang, bang, bang. It was just one after the other.

“The last bang the car stopped,” the 20-year-old said. “There were bodies on the ground and people running up to them – it was mayhem.”

A 24-year-old man who was arrested after he was allegedly found with illegal items during the initial police operation was interviewed and released, with police confirming the two men were not linked.

Cops have said Noori has no known links to any terrorist or extremist organisations.

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