Australia: tribute to restaurateur killed in mes attack

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

Flowers and messages were piled up for the Pellegrini café, the establishment of Sisto Malaspina in the second largest city in Australia.

On social networks, under a flood of messages, Russell Crowe tweeted "Il mio cuore si spezza" (my heart is broken), in Italian, the native language of the restorer who he calls "real lord".

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

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

According to witnesses he began to attack pedestrians at his burning SUV which he had entered the city center. The vehicle was filled with gas bottles, according to the police who treat the attack as a terrorist act.

Arriving as a child in Australia with his family, his Australian passport was withdrawn in 2015 because he was suspected of wanting to join Syria to the IS.

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

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

Shire Ali "wanted to instill fear in our country, this terrorist has failed, as did those who preceded him," he added, referring to the defeat of more than a dozen terrorist plots as evidence that Australians could trust the anti-terrorists.