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PM’s horror at ‘shocking’ Bondi carnage

Anthony Albanese says the deadly attacks at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction shopping center defy words and comprehension.

Six people were killed and several others – including a nine-month-old baby – were stabbed before a heroic officer shot the attacker dead.

Speaking on Saturday evening, the Prime Minister said Australians were in shock over this “horrific act of violence”.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed his horror at the Westfield Bondi rampage which left at least six people dead. The shooter was shot dead by a police officer at the scene. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

“Tonight the first thoughts of all Australians are with the victims of these terrible acts and their loved ones,” he said.

He said he was heartened by the “humanity and heroism” of Australians.

“Our brave police officer, our first responders and of course, ordinary people who could never have imagined that they would face such a moment,” he said.

“Australians… are brave, strong together

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Thousands of people ran for their lives after an attack stabbed several people at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney on Saturday afternoon. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Mr Albanese said the Commonwealth was “ready to help” in any way possible.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw said his force would assist NSW Police in their investigation.

“I want to reassure the community that the AFP is working with NSW Police with all necessary support,” he said.

Editorial provided A passerby armed with a bollard attempts to stop the gunman on an escalator in Westfield Bondi.  Photo: 9 NewsEditorial provided A passerby armed with a bollard attempts to stop the gunman on an escalator in Westfield Bondi.  Photo: 9 News

The gunman was shot dead by police after stabbing several shoppers in Westfield Bondi. Photo: 9 NEWS

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw held a press conference on the Bondi attacks at Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns, currently on a family vacation, said in a statement he was returning to Sydney immediately.

“I am horrified to learn of the events at Bondi Junction this afternoon,” Mr Minns said.

“I am immediately making arrangements to return to Sydney.

“I would like to thank the NSW Police, emergency services, first responders and the community for their courage in dealing with this shocking incident.”

Acting Prime Minister Penny Sharpe also responded to the attack.

“I am shocked by reports of several casualties at Bondi Junction late this afternoon,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

“My thoughts and those of the NSW Government are with the victims, their families and first responders at this time, as well as those who may have witnessed these horrific events.

“I receive regular updates from NSW Police and Emergency Services, as well as the Premier’s Department.”

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Five people were killed by a single attacker. Photo: NCA NewsWire / Monique Harmer

Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said Australia was “mourning” for the five innocent victims, but also praised their heroism.

“In the horror of that afternoon, there was also heroism,” he said.

“We thank the police officers and first responders who acted so quickly, put themselves in harm’s way and saved others. In particular, the courage of a female officer who neutralized the attacker.

“We thank the brave traders and staff who helped shoppers stay safe amid the chaos.

“We thank everyday Australians who helped each other to safety and those who provided comfort to others in distress.”
The NSW opposition expressed shock and sadness.

“Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and loved ones,” the statement said.

“The NSW Opposition expresses our gratitude to our police officers, health workers, other first responders and members of the public, and in particular to those who have shown extraordinary courage in the face of tragedy.

“We pray for the speedy recovery of those hospitalized this evening.”

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