Explosion reported in busy Melbourne shopping centre

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    There has been an explosion at a shopping centre in Melbourne. Witnesses have described seeing ‘fireballs’ in a blast at Frankston shopping centre in Australia.

    The suspected explosion comes after a vehicle mowed down Christmas shoppers in the busy city centre of Melbourne. Australia’s media are reporting the explosion was caused by gas bottles and it is not believed the incidents are connected in any way. Amichai Stein, a Tech and Foreign Affairs correspondent, said that shoppers were being allowed back in to the shopping centre following a brief evacuation.

    Police said the collision was a ‘deliberate act’ and confirmed that at least 14 people had been injured. Several are said to be in critical condition

    The Melbourne vehicle incident follows a spate of attacks in major cities in Europe and the US in which terrorists have used vehicles as a weapon again innocent people. Eighty-six people were killed in Nice in July 2016 when a lorry was driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.

    Twelve people died in December last year when a truck was driven at crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin. Four pedestrians and a police officer were killed by Khalid Masood in the Westminster Bridge attack in March. In June, eight people were killed and 48 injured when three terrorists ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge then went on a knife rampage in Borough Market. Thirteen people were killed when a van was driven down Barcelona’s Las Ramblas in August, and in October, eight died in a truck attack in New York.