Police have arrested a man on suspicion over attacking the Merrylands police station, although he suffered serious burns in the western Sydney incident.
According to reports, the man drove a car that was filled with gas canisters. NSW police assistant commissioner Dennis Clifford confirmed that the police officers went to the car that was parked outside the police carpark at around 7 pm on Thursday.
Its friendship with the United States has always been a reason of threat for Australia. Since 2014, the nation has been facing warnings and threats for attacks by home-grown radicals. Australia has already suffered many “lone wolf” attacks such as the Lindt Café siege in Sydney, which claimed the lives of two hostages. One gunman was also shot dead in the event.
Officers have stated that they cordoned off the police station while the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit searched the vehicle. However, the NSW state police released a statement in which it said that the circumstances surrounding the attack are still unclear. They have not provided any further details yet.
Police suspected the use of accelerant to cause the fire. The vehicle was taken into the roller shutter of the officer’s carpark, Clifford said. “He was unconscious for some time. Police extinguished the flames and extricated the person from the vehicle,” he added while referring to the suspect. As he suffered serious burns in the event, he was immediately taken to Royal North Shore hospital. He remained in a critical condition overnight but was now stable as reported.
It was reported on Friday that the suspect was known to police. He is a 61-year-old Czech national. The rescue and bomb disposal team confirmed that no one else was hurt in the incident.
“That’s not one of our lines of inquiry. There’s nothing to indicate this is in any way related to terrorism. We’ll keep an open mind, but we’re not leaning that way at this stage,” Clifford said when asked about the involvement of a terror group in the attack.
Two witnesses told The Guardian Australia that the roads were blocked after the Merrylands police station incident and a strong burning smell surrounded the area after the attack.