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SYDNEY: A small evening vigil was held Sunday for the six people killed in a knife attack at a busy Sydney shopping centre, which police said was carried out by a local man with a history of mental illness.

Mourners gathered in silent reflection outside the Westfield mall in Bondi Junction, which had been packed with weekend shoppers when 40-year-old itinerant Joel Cauchi went on a stabbing rampage on Saturday.

Police said five women and a Pakistani security guard were killed in the attack, which lasted for about half an hour, until a solo policewoman tracked down Cauchi and shot him dead.

Inspector Amy Scott was hailed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as a “hero” who “no doubt” had “saved lives through her action”.

Among Cauchi’s victims were a designer, a volunteer surf lifesaver, the daughter of an entrepreneur, and a new mother whose nine-month-old baby is still in hospital with serious stab wounds.

As night fell Sunday, a group of about 40 people from a local Muslim association placed flowers on the ever-growing pile outside the shopping centre.

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