India's Modi expresses concern over Australia bus death

October 31, 2016 9:46 AM EDT

A woman reacts as she looks at a floral tribute for a bus driver that was murdered last Friday in Brisbane, Australia, October 30, 2016. AAP/Dan Peled/REUTERS


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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over the death of an Indian-origin bus driver killed by an incendiary device thrown into his bus in Brisbane, Australia, last week.

Modi called Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull late on Sunday to discuss the death of Manmeet Alisher, 29, who was the only fatality in Friday's attack at a bus stop.

"The matter, of course, is being closely investigated and I will keep him informed as the results of the investigation arise," Turnbull told reporters on Monday.

A 48-year-old man appeared in a Brisbane court on Saturday and is facing charges related to murder, attempted murder and arson, Australian media reported.

A taxi driver who helped passengers escape from the bus has been hailed as a hero in media reports. Aguek Nyok told the Nine Network he kicked in the back door of the bus after the attack.

"People were trying to get out and they couldn't, so I went and I kicked the door. I did about three attempts to break it," he said.

Some passengers suffered burns and were treated at the scene, media reports said.

More than 1,000 people, including taxi drivers and members of Brisbane's Indian community, paid their respects to Alisher at a memorial on the weekend.

(Reporting by Jill Gralow; Writing by Natasha Howitt; Editing by Darren Schuettler)



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