Australia: tribute to the restaurateur killed in a knife attack

The tributes, including actor Russell Crowe, multiplied on Saturday in memory of Sisto Malaspina, 74, a figure in the world of coffee and restaurants in Melbourne, who was stabbed the day before in an attack claimed by the group. jihadist Islamic State (IS).

Flowers and messages piled up in front of the Pellegrini café, the structure run by Sisto Malaspina in the second largest city in Australia.

On the social networks, in a flood of messages, Russell Crowe tweeted "My heart breaks", in Italian, the native language of the restaurateur that he calls "true gentleman".

"I've been with Pellegrini since 1987. I've never been to Melbourne without going to my friend Sisto (…) My dear faithful friend, stabbed in the street by a madman," writes the New Zealand actor.

Two others were injured in the mid-afternoon attack in the business district of Melbourne by a man of Somali origin, Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, shot dead by the police.

According to witnesses, he started attacking pedestrians near his burning SUV he had driven into the city center. The vehicle was full of gas cylinders, according to police who treat the attack as a terrorist act.

Arrived as a child in Australia with his family, his Australian passport was revoked in 2015 because he was suspected of wanting to go to Syria to join the IS.

His brother will be tried next year on charges of wanting to get a gun to commit a terrorist act.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country will be unshakeable in the fight against "radical Islam, violent, extremist (…) that opposes our way of life".

Shire Ali "wanted to instill fear in our country, this terrorist has failed, like those who tried before him," he added, citing the defeat of more than a dozen terrorist plots as evidence that Australians might trust the anti-terrorist forces. terrorism.

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