Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

The highs and lows of Cannes for the critics

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Remembering our friend and colleague Jean Karim Fall

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bad diplomacy, brawls & bromance

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow becomes an urban warrior

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

Read more

Asia-pacific

Australia arrests seven people suspected of plotting Christmas Day bombing

© AFP (file photo) | View of the Melbourne downtown taken 21 June 2002.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-12-23

Australian police said on Friday they had foiled a plot to attack landmarks in Melbourne with a series of bombs on Christmas Day that authorities described as "an imminent terrorist event" inspired by the Islamic State group.

Six men and a woman, all in their twenties, were arrested in dawn raids across Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, Victoria state police said in a statement.

"This is a significant disruption of what we would describe as an imminent terrorist event in Melbourne," Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin told reporters in Sydney.

"We do believe ... that we have removed this threat in its entirety," Colvin said.

Two of those arrested were released without charge but at least four of those still in custody would likely face court on Friday, a police statement said.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters that the planned attack was an "Islamist terrorist plot" and "one of the most substantial terrorist plots that have been disrupted over the last several years".

The plot targeted high-profile locations in Melbourne, including Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and St Paul's Cathedral "possibly on Christmas Day".

Victorian police chief Graham Ashton said the latest plot was inspired by the Islamic State militant group. He said one of the suspected planners was an Egyptian-born Australian and the others were all Australian-born.

Australia, a staunch US ally which sent troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since 2014.

Authorities have said they have thwarted a number of plots, particularly involving radicalised teenagers, in recent years.

There have also been several "lone wolf" assaults, including a 2014 cafe siege in Sydney in which two hostages and a gunman were killed, and the killing of a police accountant.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-12-23

  • AUSTRALIA - FRANCE

    Frenchman suspected of stabbing woman to death in Australia in ‘possible extremist attack’

    Read more

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia bows to pressure to close offshore immigration camp

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    American, Australian professors kidnapped at gunpoint in Kabul

    Read more

COMMENT(S)