A Pakistani student has been stabbed to death likely by two Australian teenage boys, who have been taken into police custody to be investigated.
Zeeshan Akbar, a 29-year old Muslim student who worked at a service station in the city of Queanbeyan, was found with multiple stab wounds late Thursday. He is believed to have been attacked by the two boys — aged 15 and 16 — about midnight Thursday.
The two teens were arrested by New South Wales state police on Friday morning.
According to Pakistani High Commissioner Naela Chohan, Akbar was a temporary resident who had been in Australia for eight years. “The Pakistani community is deeply concerned and saddened by this horrific murder.”
After killing Akbar, the assailants stole the cash register at the station and took off. They are also suspected of having stabbed another man in the abdomen nearby. He is said to be in a serious but stable condition.
Two other men were also attacked — one with a tire iron and the other with a beer bottle — in a nearby park, presumably also by the two teens.
“It’s an absolutely horrific series of events, and we’d just like to reassure everybody that there are two people that we believe are involved, and both of those people are currently in custody,” said Monaro local police commander Superintendent Rod Smith.
Catherine Burn, another police official, said she believed one of the two teenage boys was linked to terrorism, and that both had been known to police, according to Australia’s ABC.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reacted to the violent crimes, describing them as “shocking.”
“The involvement in this crime of two males, two youths, teenagers is shocking and a matter which underlines many of the concerns we have raised in this field,” he told reporters in Sydney.
Australian police have made a series of arrests since late 2014 across Australia, with authorities extremely concerned about homegrown extremism.