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A young British female backpacker has been stabbed to death during an attack in an Australian hostel on Tuesday night.
21-year-old Mia Ayliffe-Chung, believed to be from Derbyshire, was attacked along with a 30-year-old British male who suffered from severe injuries.
A 29-year-old French suspect has been arrested in connection with the incident, which took place at Shelley’s Backpackers in Home Hill.
The Home Hill area is popular with backpackers who wish to work in the agricultural industry. The French suspect, who has been arrested, is reported to have said “Allahu Akbar,” an Arabic phrase meaning “God is great”, while carrying out the attack. An investigation is being carried out over possible motivations of the attack. Motivations including drug issues, mental health issues, and extremism are all being looked into further, police have said.
The male also injured in the attack is said to be in a critical condition in Townsville Base Hospital. A 46-year-old man, who is reported to be local, suffered minor injuries. A dog was also killed in the attack.
30 people have been reported to have witnessed the attack.
The suspect was a visitor in Australia, who had been in the country since March on a temporary visa, Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said.
It is reported that the suspect was not connected to anyone locally.
Gollschewski said officers were “not ruling out any motivations at this early stage, whether they be political or criminal.”
The suspect was not known to the authorities.