Counter-terrorism cops arrest man outside Melbourne church

A counter-terrorism operation is underway in inner-Melbourne near an Anglican church, with at least one man led away by police.

The joint counter-terrorism team was called to a job in North Melbourne on Friday afternoon, Victoria Police confirmed.

“There is no current or impending threat to the community. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time,” a spokesman said.

A man in a white forensic suit was led away from the scene by police. Source: 9 News

Footage from Queensberry Street shows a man, dressed in a white forensic jumpsuit, being led from nearby St Mary’s Church to a waiting vehicle.

A worker at nearby Trutrack Suspension told AAP the police action seemed to focus on the church.

“We can hear a few helicopters. We drove through before, it was all blocked off, the road. Police (are) everywhere,” the worker said.

Barry Fernley, the locum vicar, told the Herald Sun the arrest had come as a shock.

St Mary’s Church in North Melbourne. Source: Google Maps

International tourists were allegedly locked inside their accommodation until it was safe to leave, Nine News Melbourne reported.

“He was handcuffed, and he was just waiting with the military guy next to him, and then the police arrived,” an unnamed witness told the network.

Another witness said she saw that “they were wearing camouflage and it was really weird because they had guns”.

Police also swooped on a nearby block of apartments in Bedford Street in North Melbourne, with two officers guarding the front door on Friday night.

Victoria Police confirmed the joint counter-terrorism team was tasked to a job in North Melbourne on Friday afternoon, and two people were assisting with inquiries.

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