Factbox-A history of violent crimes in Australia

By Thomson Reuters Apr 13, 2024 | 6:04 AM

By Praveen Menon

SYDNEY (Reuters) – An attacker who fatally knifed six people in a Sydney mall on Saturday before being shot dead by police in Sydney’s beachside suburb of Bondi.

Such violent crimes are rare in Australia, a country of about 26 million people, which implemented one of the world’s toughest gun laws more than two decades ago.

Here is a list of some of the country’s major violent attacks.

-April 1996

Lone gunman Martin Bryant went on a shooting spree at a cafe and tourist site at the former colonial prison of Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania, killing 35 people. He used military-style weapons that he had bought without background checks. The incident prompted Australia to implement some of the world’s toughest gun laws.

-December 2014

Three people, including attacker Man Haron Monis, were killed when police stormed a cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place to free hostages held at gunpoint for 16 hours. Monis, a self-styled sheikh from Iran who received political asylum in 2001, was well known to Australian authorities, having been charged as an accessory to murder and with dozens of counts of sexual and indecent assault.

-January 2017

A man deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing five and injuring more than 20, in Melbourne. Police said the incident was not terrorism-related. The 26-year-old had a history of family violence. Authorities later installed 140 concrete posts in the city centre.

-December 2017

Afghan former refugee Saeed Noori, 32, deliberately sped up and drove into dozens of pedestrians crossing the road at one of the busiest intersections in Melbourne’s central business district, injuring 19. Police said they did not believe the incident was terror-related.

-November 2018

An attacker in Melbourne was shot by police after he set fire to a pickup truck laden with gas cylinders in the city centre and stabbed three people, killing one. The attacker died in hospital. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by William Mallard)