Melbourne car attack suspect charged with attempted murder

The driver accused of ploughing his car into pedestrians in Melbourne was charged with 18 counts of attempted murder Saturday.

Afghan refugee Saeed Noori, 32, of Heidelberg West appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday in a grey T-shirt charged with 18 counts of attempted murder and one count of conduct endangering life.

More than a dozen people are still being treated in hospital after the incident in Flinders Street on Thursday.

Three are in a critical condition. Nine of the injured are foreign nationals from countries including South Korea, Ireland, Venezuela, China, India and Italy.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police told Fairfax Media that there would be an increased police presence in Melbourne on Friday and at major events over the coming days including the Carols By Candlelight, Boxing Day Test and CBD New Year’s Eve celebrations.

This was confirmed by the City of Melbourne’s acting lord mayor Arron Wood

Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the 32-year-old man who drove a white SUV into pedestrians at Melbourne’s

“Whatever the motivation, this was a despicable and cowardly act, but I want to reassure all Australians that this is an isolated incident. We should continue to go about our daily lives in the way we always do, and that means spending time together with family and friends in public spaces, on the streets of our cities, at sporting stadiums, in parks, going out, doing our Christmas shopping, that is a fundamental part of our lives.”