Police in Melbourne have arrested seven suspects who allegedly planned a series of bomb attacks in the heart of Australia’s second largest city on Christmas Day.

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.

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

“This is a significant disruption of what we would describe as an imminent terrorist event in Melbourne. We do believe that we have removed this threat in its entirety,” Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin told reporters in Sydney.

Speaking at a press conference today, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull  said: “Overnight our police and security agencies have disrupted a very substantial terrorist plot.

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

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