Breaking: Australian police conducting ‘counter-terrorism’ operation in Melbourne

Australian police shot dead a man who took a woman hostage in a Melbourne apartment, after the body of another man was found in the building's lobby AFP/PETER PARKS

SYDNEY: Australian police were conducting a “counter-terrorism operation” in Melbourne early on Friday, just days after a deadly siege by a lone gunman in the country’s second biggest city.

“Victoria Police and their partners within the Joint Counter Terrorism Team are conducting a police operation in the northern suburbs this morning,” state police said in an emailed statement.

Police declined to comment further, including on whether the operation was linked to this week’s siege claimed by the Islamic State group.

Police shot dead gunman Yacqub Khayre, who they said had a long criminal history, on Monday night after he killed a man in an apartment block in Melbourne, and held a woman hostage for several hours.

The Australian government has signalled a drive to reform parole laws as a result of the incident, including a ban on parole for violent offenders who have any links to extremism, as Khayre was on parole for a violent break-and-enter offence. – Source: Reuters

(Reporting by Jane Wardell and Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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