Brighton siege being treated as terrorism

The Nepean Highway at Brighton was closed as the siege unfolded

Australian police on Monday shot dead a man who had taken a woman hostage in a Melbourne apartment and said they were investigating whether the incident was terror-related.

The Seven Network said it had received a phone call Monday afternoon from a distressed woman who said she was involved in a hostage situation.

One man was killed and three police officers shot after a standoff at an apartment building in Melbourne, the capital of the Australian state of Victoria.

Khayre opened fire on police officers when he ran from the building at around 6pm and was shot dead, police say.

Khayre once spent 16 months on remand before being acquitted of a 2009 plot to attack the Holsworthy army barracks in Sydney.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the police were treating the siege as a "terrorist attack".

Khayre had been known to security forces for nearly a decade and had been cleared of involvement in a plot to attack an army barracks in Sydney in 2009, Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Graham Ashton told reporters. AAP/Julian Smith/via REUTERS Police carry a bag outside the home of Yacqub Khayre at Roxburgh Park in Melbourne, Australia, June 6.

Khayre, whose parents were refugees from Somalia, had a long criminal history involving robbery, violence and drugs.

He served prison sentences for arson and violent crimes unrelated to extremism before being paroled in November, Mr Ashton said.

"He appears to (have been) in the wrong place at the wrong time", Comm Ashton said.

"We still don't know exactly whether that was the case", Ashton said, but police believed he was acting alone and there was no ongoing threat.

Heavily armed police swarmed the area when a female hostage, believed to be in her 20s, made a triple-0 call telling officers she was being held hostage and a man had been killed.

The evidence pointing to terrorism first emerged with a call to a television station during the siege, in which a man said, "This is for IS", presumably a reference to the Islamic State, and, "This is for al-Qaeda".

Siege with a hostage situation in Australia's Melbourne on Monday is now being treated as a terrorist attack, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull has announced.

"We're aware of online, them having claimed responsibility, but then they always tend to jump up and claim responsibility every time something happens so we note that that has happened", State Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said, according to NBC.

Police are investigating whether the gunman tried to lure them into an ambush and whether he did have any links to ISIL.

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