SYDNEY - Australians must not vilify the Muslim community, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged on Saturday, after a 15-year-old boy of Middle Eastern background was identified as the gunman who shot a police worker in Sydney the previous day.
"This appears to have been an act of politically motivated violence, so at this stage it appears to have been an act of terrorism," Turnbull told reporters in Melbourne.
"We must not vilify or blame the entire Muslim community for the actions of what is, in truth, a very, very small percentage of violent extremist individuals."
The gunman, identified as a 15-year-old of Iraqi-Kurdish background born in Iran, was shot dead by police after gunning down a worker at close range as he was leaving the headquarters of the New South Wales Police, police and witnesses said.
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