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IS claims Melbourne stabbing: propaganda agency

Paramedics tending to those wounded in the car attack in Melbourne on friday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the stabbing that killed one person and wounded two others, its propaganda channel said.

[BEIRUT] The Islamic State group claimed a stabbing Friday that killed one person and wounded two others in the Australian city of Melbourne, its propaganda channel said.

"The perpetrator of the operation... in Melbourne... was an Islamic State fighter and carried out the operation... to target nationals of the coalition" fighting IS, Amaq reported a jihadist security source as saying.

Australian police said the unnamed assailant who was later shot dead by police was said to reside in Melbourne's northwestern suburbs, but had come to Australia from Somalia in or around the 1990s, when the country was ravaged by a civil war.

Australia is a member of the US-led coalition that has been fighting IS in Syria and neighbouring Iraq since 2014.

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The jihadists took large swathes of Syria and Iraq that year, proclaiming a "caliphate" across land it controlled.

But the jihadist group has since lost most of that territory to multiple offensives on both sides of the border.

In Syria, its presence has been reduced to parts of the vast desert between Damascus and the Iraqi border and a small pocket of the Euphrates valley where it is in the sights of the US-led coalition.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, says the coalition has carried out deadly air strikes on IS fighters around the pocket in recent days.

IS has called for attacks against Western targets, and claimed a series of attacks abroad in recent years, even when the perpetrator's only connection to the group appears to have been one of inspiration.