Van Explodes After Ramming Australian Christian Lobby Office in Canberra

Lyle Shelton/Twitter

A van reportedly filled with gas canisters was driven into the Australian Christian Lobby office in Canberra, in what appears to have been a car bombing attack.

Lyle Shelton, the Managing Director of the ACL, posted photos of the burned-out van on Twitter, and offered reassurances that all of his staffers were safe:

The Australian Daily Telegraph reported that the van was “carrying gas bottles,” and produced an explosion upon impact, powerful enough to blow out some of the windows from the building.

“Police contacted me and told me that someone has driven a white van into the carpark of our office and it has been loaded with gas cylinders and then it has been detonated,” Shelton told the Telegraph. He added that none of his staffers were in the building at the time of the explosion.

“We have had the normal trolls on social media and even had death threats sent to our Canberra office over the year but I am very concerned someone would do this,” he said. “It is a relief the building was unoccupied at the time and we are all very thankful our staff are all safe.”

“Obviously this is very unsettling to us but also to anyone in Australia, for this to happen in Canberra, our nation’s capital is very disappointing. It is something I thought would never happen here, I can’t believe it.”

The Daily Telegraph adds that the driver of the van survived the blast and is “receiving medical attention.” There are no details yet as to who the driver is or what his motivations were.

The UK Mirror notes that the ACL office is located just three kilometers from the Australian Parliament House.

The Australian Christian Lobby describes itself as seeking “a compassionate, just and moral society through having the public contributions of the Christian faith reflected in the political life of the nation.” They were among the groups that planned to meet at the Mercure Sydney Airport Hotel in September for a conference on same-sex marriage, but the hotel canceled the event, and even shut down its own Facebook page, due to threats of physical violence.


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