The tributes, including the actor Russell Crowe, were multiplying on Saturday in memory of Sisto Malaspina, 74, a figure in the world of cafes 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 establishment run by Sisto Malaspina in the second largest city in Australia.

On social networks, among a flood of messages, Russell Crowe tweeted "Il mio cuore si spezza" (my heart is broken), in Italian, the native language of the restaurateur that he calls "true gentleman".

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

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

According to witnesses, he began attacking pedestrians near his burning SUV that he had driven into the city center. The vehicle was filled with 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Arrived as a child in Australia with his family, his Australian passport was revoked in 2015 because he was suspected of wanting to go to Syria to join the IS.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 has said that his country will be unwavering in the fight against "radical, violent, extremist (…) Islam that opposes our very 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 proof that Australians could trust the anti-terrorist forces.


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