Australian police were investigating Friday whether there was any terrorism-related motive behind the car ramming attack on Melbourne pedestrians that left 12 people in a hospital, three of them in critical condition.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the “despicable and cowardly act.” Nine of the 19 people originally injured Thursday were foreigners.
Victoria state police Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said on Thursday night that early indications were the driver of the car, a 32-year-old Australian citizen of Afghan descent with a history of drug abuse and mental health issues, was not motivated by terrorism. He said the ramming was being treated as a “singular” incident.
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On Friday morning, however, Patton said the man had made several utterances while under police guard in a hospital on Thursday night, including mentioning poor treatment of Muslims, and that police were still exploring terrorism as a possible