Oz police foil Christmas bombings

2016-12-23 09:01
Police accompany a woman as they get ready to search the house in Melbourne where seven men were allegedly planning a series of bomb attacks. (Julian Smith, AP)

Police accompany a woman as they get ready to search the house in Melbourne where seven men were allegedly planning a series of bomb attacks. (Julian Smith, AP)

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Melbourne - Police arrested seven suspects who were allegedly planning a series of bomb attacks in the heart of Australian's second largest city on Christmas Day, an official said on Friday.

The seven men had been inspired by the Islamic State group and planned attacks on Melbourne's Flinders Street train station, neighbouring Federation Square and St Paul's Cathedral, Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.

Police had been watching the alleged plotters for some time and believed they were preparing to use explosives and other weapons, Ashton said.

Police believed the threat had been neutralised through the raids on Thursday night and Friday morning, he said.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said there will be extra police on the streets of Melbourne on Christmas Day to make the public feel safe.

Injured or killed

Ashton said police had gathered unspecified evidence in the raids that the plotters were planning to use explosives in their attack.

"We gathered the makings of an improvised explosive device," Ashton said.

He added: "Certainly (there was the) potential for quite a number of people to be injured or killed in this attack."

About 400 police officers were involved in the raids.

Ashton described those arrested as "self-radicalised" and inspired by Islamic State propaganda.

Read more on:    isis  |  australia  |  security

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