Police in Australia have detained five men suspected of planning a series of Christmas Day bomb attacks in the heart of the country’s second-largest city, officials said Friday.
The suspects had been inspired by the Islamic State group and planned attacks on Melbourne’s Flinders Street train station, neighboring Federation Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
The arrests came after a truck smashed into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing 12 people. A manhunt is underway for the person behind that attack, which prompted increases in security around the world.
Two of seven people initially arrested in raids Thursday night and Friday morning in Melbourne — a 26-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman — were released without being charged, police said