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Extremist link probed after fatal Melbourne siege

A shoot-out in Australia in which two men died, three police officers were injured and a female hostage was freed might be related to Islamic extremism, police have said.

Victoria state police deputy commissioner Andrew Crisp said officers were called on Monday to an apartment building in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton in response to reports of an explosion and discovered the body of a man in the lobby.

He said police tried to negotiate with a gunman in one of the apartments.

The gunman later left the building and shot three officers before police killed him.

The Seven Network television said it had received a phone call from a man who said: "This is for IS. This is for al-Qaeda," shortly before the shoot-out.

The hostage was rescued safely.

Seven news director Simon Pristel said when they asked for more information from the caller, he hung up.

The network immediately called police and passed on the details of the call and the man's phone number.

Mr Crisp said police had not confirmed the identity of the gunman, and he would not elaborate on the phone call to Seven.

"Terrorism is one line of inquiry in relation to this matter. It is early days," Mr Crisp added.

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