Australian police have arrested a 17-year old boy over a plot to detonate three homemade bombs in Melbourne, officials have said. The suspect is facing terror charges.
The teenager has been arrested at his home in the suburb of Greenvale on Friday, in a joint federal-state counterterrorism operation, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan said.
The three "rudimentary" bombs were also found in the two-story Melbourne villa during the raid by the anti-terror units, and later detonated by the police.
"The family of the charged teen were shocked and surprised," Phelan said. "They are a caring, loving family, and they are distraught."
According to some media outlets, the attack on Australia's second largest city and the capital of Victoria state was planned for Sunday.
The officials did not confirm this information, saying they still need to examine a lot of the material seized at the premises.
"But let me tell you, something was going to happen," Phelan told reporters.
"As a result of Victoria police and AFP (Australian Federal Police) interception yesterday, some Victorians are going to be alive because of it," he said.
The investigation started nine days ago after a tip over the national security hotline, according to Phelan.
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Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed that "there's been at least one arrest."
"There is evidence of a bomb plot that was in a reasonably advanced state of preparation," Abbott told reporters.
The suspect will appear in the Melbourne Children's Court on Monday on terrorism charges.
Last month, five Australian teenagers were arrested on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack at a Veterans' Day ceremony in Melbourne, allegedly inspired by the "Islamic State."
dj/gsw (AP, AFP, dpa)