Suspect in deadly Qld stabbing attack released from hospital

UPDATE @ 11.45am – 25.8.16: A French man accused of a frenzied stabbing attack on tourists at a backpackers hostel in north Queensland has been released from hospital.

The 29-year-old is currently in the custody of police and is expected to be questioned over the deadly knife attack today.

At a press conference on Thursday, Supt. Ray Rohweder said that as the suspect was being transported from hospital overnight he became extremely violent.


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“When we transported the suspect from the Townsville hospital to the Townsville police station the suspect behaved in an extremely violent manner, forcing police to stop the motor vehicle to restrain him. As a result of that, officers received some injuries including cuts and abrasions as well as a bite mark to the leg,” Supt. Rohweder said.

Around 11.15pm Tuesday, police crews raced to the hostel at Home Hill after receiving reports several people had been stabbed.

A 21-year-old British woman, who has been identified as Mia Ayliffe-Chung, was found dead at the scene, while a 30-year-old British man was rushed to Townsville Base Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

Another man, a 46-year-old local, was also injured in the attack, however he has since been released from hospital. A dog at the hostel was also brutally stabbed to death.

Detectives yesterday said they were not ruling out any motivations for the attack, after the suspect was heard yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ during and after the stabbing.

It was also revealed this morning that a ‘romantic obsession’ was one line of inquiry detectives would be looking into.

“There is certainly, at this stage, no indication, certainly from Mia’s point of view, of any sort of romantic connection – but that’s certainly something we’re looking at,” Supt. Rohweder said.

Up to 30 people witnessed the horrifying attack with police stating that they will be interviewing every one of them.

“There are a large number of witnesses…we will interview each and every one of them,” Supt. Rohweder said.

The British consulate has been alerted to the incident and are currently liaising with the victim’s families who are currently on their way to Australia.

An investigation involving the Australian Federal Police is ongoing.

EARLIER @ 12.30pm – 24.8.16: Police have confirmed they are investigating whether the fatal stabbing attack at a backpackers hostel in north Queensland overnight is linked to extremism.

Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said he was not ruling out any motivations after the 29-year-old French man was allegedly heard shouting the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’ during the attack at the hostel at Home Hill.

A 21-year-old British woman was found dead at the scene, while a 30-year-old British man was rushed to Townsville Base Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

Another man, a 46-year-old local, was also injured in the attack however he has since been released from hospital. A dog at the hostel was also killed.

The alleged attacker, a 29-year-old French man, was arrested at the scene with charges yet to be laid.

Police said he appears to have acted alone, and that he was a visitor to Australia with no known local connections.

He is believed to have been in the country on a temporary visa since March this year.

The British consulate has been alerted to the incident and are currently liaising with the victim’s families.

An investigation involving the Australian Federal Police is ongoing.

EARLIER @ 11.30am: A female tourist has been stabbed to death and another man is in a critical condition following a horror stabbing attack at a backpackers in north Queensland overnight.

Several police crews raced to the hostel at Home Hill around 11.15pm after receiving reports two people had been stabbed.

A 21-year-old British National woman was found dead at the scene while a 30-year-old British national man was rushed to Townsville Base Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

The pair were allegedly stabbed by a 29-year-old French National who was taken into custody at the scene.

In a press conference on Wednesday morning, Detective Supt Ray Rohweder said up to 30 people witnessed the terrifying ordeal and that police were confronted with a terrible scene upon arrival.

A major investigation involving the Australian Federal Police is now underway, with Nine News Journalist Darren Curtis reporting the French National was heard to have shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ at the time of the stabbing.

The British consulate has been alerted to the incident and are currently liaising with the victim’s families.

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