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Australian police say they prevented bombings

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Police say they have detained five suspects who allegedly planned a series of bomb attacks in the heart of Australia’s second largest city on Christmas Day.

Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters on Friday the seven had been inspired by the Islamic State group and had planned attacks on Melbourne’s Flinders Street train station, neighboring Federation Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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

Police said they believed the threat had been neutralized through the raids on Thursday night and Friday morning. Two other people who were detained have been released.

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