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Hostage-taker in Australia shot dead, terror link suspected

One man has been killed and three police officers are injured after a hostage situation at an apartment block in Brighton near the Australian city of Melbourne. Police are investigating a possible link to terrorism.

The incident began just after 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday when police officers were called to a serviced apartments building on Bay Street.It was not immediately clear what led prompted the police response, but residents said they had heard a loud bang.

Victoria Police said in a statement that officers found a deceased man with a gunshot wound in the lobby of the serviced apartments building. A hostage situation ensued as the suspect held a woman at gunpoint for nearly two hours.

During the siege, the man - who was reportedly known to counter-terrorism police - is believed to have called the newsroom of 7News Melbourne. "This is for IS (Islamic State), this is for al-Qaeda," the man allegedly said as a woman could be heard screaming.

The incident ended just before 6 p.m. when gunfire erupted at the building.

"A man has been shot dead by police in the Bay Street apartment complex," Victoria Police said in a brief, emailed statement. "Police have safely rescued a woman who was being held against her will in the apartment block."

The statement confirmed that 3 police officers suffered non-life threatening injuries. It did not specify how the officers were injured but noted that two of the officers were taken to hospital while the third one was treated at the scene.

"Police are investigating whether the incident is terrorism related," police said.

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