Two men were arrested after the driver of an SUV plowed into Christmas shoppers in Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 21, 2017. (Image via Twitter from 7 News Sydney)

Two men were arrested after the driver of an SUV plowed into Christmas shoppers in Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 21, 2017. (Image via Twitter from 7 News Sydney)

The driver of an SUV rammed his vehicle into pedestrians on a busy street in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, injuring at least 14 people in what police believe was an intentional act.

The Associated Press reported Victoria state police said they took the driver and a second man into custody after the attack, which happened on Flinders Street in Melbourne’s central business district just after 4:45 p.m., when many Christmas shoppers were in the area.

However, police now believe the second man, who was arrested for filming the incident on his phone, had no connection to the incident.

Police believe the driver of the white Suzuki 4WD was the sole occupant of the vehicle. The 32-year-old is reportedly an Australian citizen of Afghan descent who was known to police, but only for minor offenses, according to CNN.

Commander Russell Barrett said while the motive was not immediately apparent, police believe it was a deliberate act.

Barrett refused to rule out terrorism as motivation, telling reporters, “At this stage, it’s early days in the investigation and the motivation is unknown.”

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Islamic terrorists have used vehicles in France, Germany and New York City in recent months. One year ago, a truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin killed 12 people, and an attack in Nice, France killed 86. Just two months ago, an Uzbek migrant who came to the U.S. on a diversity visa lottery rammed a rented Home Depot truck into a crowd of people in New York City, killing six.

The police commander in Melbourne confirmed 14 people were injured during the incident Thursday. Many were treated in hospitals, and two were in critical condition, including a preschool-aged boy with a head-trauma injury.

The incident began when the SUV ran a red light outside the Flinders Street train station and sped up to strike pedestrians, hitting more than a dozen people before crashing into a traffic barrier by a cable car stop.

One man identified only as David said on Australia’s ABC TV: “I was crossing Flinders Street on the way to the train station. I heard an engine rev behind me and heard a thump.”

He said he turned and witnessed “people literally getting thrown into the air as it hit them.”

Other witnesses said bystanders rushed the car after it crashed and started pulling the man out before police got there a few minutes later. Authorities said police have been deployed across the area, and the site would be blocked off as a crime scene.

“Police will continue to have a strong presence in the Melbourne CBD tonight,” Barrett said, according to the AP.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident “shocking” in a tweet and said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and those treating their injuries.

Victoria police knew the driver of the SUV due to “historical assault matters” and a history of drug use, according to CNN. Acting chief commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton told reporters the driver had been receiving treatment for a mental illness.

The incident comes as the U.S. government is fulfilling a deal the Obama administration struck last year to accept 1,250 refugees from Muslim-majority countries who had previously been held in Australian-run detention centers. President Trump called it the “worst deal ever,” yet he accepted the refugees because he believed he had to honor the deal.

If the way establishment media covers Islamic terrorism is driving you mad, go to the WND Superstore for the true story, where you’ll find titles such as “See Something, Saying Nothing,” “Muslim Mafia,” “Son of Hamas” and “God’s War on Terror.” 

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