AUCKLAND: Police on Friday shot dead an Islamic State-inspired knife attacker in capital city of New Zealand, Auckland. The assailant injured about six people, including three critically, at the New Lynn mall Countdown.
Earlier, police had arrested him for planning a “lone wolf” knife attack. The 32-year-old suspect had been on police’s radar for several years.
An armed tactical team and national security agencies were also surveilling him after he was recently released from jail.
Addressing media in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the suspect was a Sri Lankan national and had been a person of interest. She said the violent extremist undertook the terrorist attack on innocent New Zealanders.
She said within one minute of beginning the attack the assailant was neutralized.
“It was hateful, it was wrong. It was carried out by an individual, not a faith. He alone carries the responsibility for these acts,” she said.
On August 28, the United States had claimed that it had carried out a drone strike in Nangarhar province of eastern Afghanistan, killing a “planner” of an ISIS-affiliated group called ISKP or Islamic Sate-Khurasan Province.
The US drone attack had come in response to suicide attack at Kabul airport which killed more than 150 people and intensified the crisis in Afghanistan. Later, ISKP had claimed the responsibility of the airport carnage.
Earlier, there were reports of two suicide attacks but later the Pentagon said that the attack was carried out by a single suicide bomber at a gate to the airport and there was no second explosion.
Moreover, Captain Bill Urban of the US Central Command had confirmed that no civilian causalities occurred during the airstrike. Meanwhile, the US had claimed to have evacuated about 111,000 people in a week after Taliban took over Kabul on August 15.