December 9, 2015 / 11:11 PM / 3 years ago

Australian police say arrest two in 'counter-terror' raids

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian federal and state police said on Thursday morning they had arrested two people as part of an ongoing operation to thwart attacks against civilians by home-grown and foreign radicals.

“Two people have been arrested by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team Sydney as part of the ongoing Operation Appleby,” the New South Wales State Police said in a statement.

Sky News reported that one of those targeted in the raids was a 15-year-old boy. Police said further information would be provided throughout the day.

Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its battle against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since last year.

In September 2014, police shot dead a Melbourne teenager after he stabbed two counter-terrorism officers. Last December, two hostages were killed when police stormed a central Sydney cafe to end a 17-hour siege by a lone gunman, who was also killed.

In October, a 15-year-old boy opened fired on police accountant Curtis Cheng at police headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta and was then killed in a gunfight with police outside the building.

Reporting by Matt Siegel; Editing by Leslie Adler

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