Australia plans 'terror lockdown' on Anzac Day

Indo Asian News Service

Canberra, April 22 (IANS) Australian authorities are preparing to put major cities on 'terror lockdown' for the country's national day of remembrance, a media report said on Saturday.

Celebrated on April 25 every year, Anzac Day commemorates members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) who served and died in all wars and conflicts, Xinhua news agency reported.

Australian counter-terrorism agencies would be on high alert for the day following the lone-wolf terror attacks being carried out by the Islamic State terror group.

The latest one in Paris in which a police officer was shot dead on Thursday night.

Frontline police and specialist officers will spend the eve of Anzac Day in Melbourne scouring streets, gardens and buildings for anything suspicious.

Hi-tech cameras would be used by authorities throughout the day to monitor persons of interest in the city.

Peter O'Neill, Acting Commander of Victoria Police, said a "bubble" would be placed around the city to ease community fears after the Paris attack and a foiled terror plot on Anzac Day in 2015.

He said that while no direct threat had emerged, police could not afford to be complacent.

"There is nothing on the radar but as we have watched, there have been events unfolding over the last three to four years and we are not immune to them," O'Neill told the media on Saturday.

"We will maintain a strong police presence and have a bubble around parts of the city to provide a safe environment - it's something that we have to do. We want people to embrace the day - and not be intimidated."

More than 60,000 people are expected in the city on Tuesday for the dawn service and Anzac Day match while the traditional Anzac Day Aussie Rules match between Collingwood and Essendon is expected to draw a crowd of more than 90,000.

Sevdet Ramadan Besim was jailed for 10 yeas in 2016 after pleading guilty to planning a terrorist attack in Melbourne on Anzac Day in 2015.

Besim intended to run down and behead a police officer before using a gun to go on a rampage throughout the city.

--IANS

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