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Melbourne SUV attack suspect due in court for 18 counts of attempted murder

Xinhua,December 27, 2017 Adjust font size:

SYDNEY, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Australian man who allegedly drove his vehicle into pedestrians in downtown Melbourne on Dec. 21 is set to be in court on Wednesday after being charged with 18 counts of attempted murder, local media reported.

Australian citizen Saeed Noori, 32, who arrived in the country as an Afghan refugee in 2004, has been remanded in custody after a brief court appearance over the weekend, when prosecutors said he had driven his white SUV through the crowded Flinders Street intersection "with the intention of killing or causing serious injury," according to the Nine News channel.

Twenty people, including the suspect and the off-duty policeman who arrested him at the scene, were hospitalized after the incident. The victims include a 24-year-old Chinese national and eight other foreign nationals from countries such as Italy, India and Venezuela.

An 83-year-old Australian man and two South Korean men in their 60s were initially said to be in critical condition but one has since improved, according to police. At least eight pedestrians remain in hospital.

Police said they had not found any extremist links to Noori soon after the incident.

Defence lawyer of the accused said he has mental and physical health issues. Enditem