Six killed in Sydney shopping centre attack

Six people were killed and several others injured — including a small child — when a knife-wielding attacker rampaged through a busy Sydney shopping centre on Saturday, Australian police said.

Multiple people were stabbed by the unidentified assailant, who was shot dead by a policewoman at the scene.

The incident occurred at the sprawling Westfield Bondi Junction mall complex, which was packed with Saturday afternoon shoppers.

"I'm advised that there are five victims who are now deceased as a result of the actions of this offender," said New South Wales police assistant commissioner Anthony Cooke.

The motive was not immediately clear, but Cooke said "terrorism" could not be ruled out at this stage.

"I do not know at this stage who he is. You would understand this is quite raw. Inquiries are very new and we are continuing to make attempts to identify the offender in this matter," said Cooke.

A New South Wales Ambulance spokesperson told AFP that eight patients were taken to various hospitals across Sydney, including a young child who was taken to the city's Children's Hospital.

"They all have traumatic injuries," the official said.

Security camera footage broadcast by local media showed a man wearing an Australian rugby league jersey running around the shopping centre with a large knife and injured people lying lifeless on the floor.

Eyewitnesses described a scene of panic, with shoppers scrambling to safety and police trying to secure the area.

Several people took shelter in shops as they tried to protect themselves and their families.

 'Running and screaming' 

Pranjul Bokaria had just finished up work and was doing some shopping when the stabbing occurred.

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