Sydney harbour bomb scare prompts evacuations
22 January 2015, 09:38
Sydney - A harbour precinct in Sydney went into lockdown on Thursday, as specialist investigated a suspicious object found on a ferry.
Ferries, trains and buses were being diverted from the Circular Quay area and the public advised to stay clear of the popular Australian tourist destination, broadcaster ABC reported.
"Specialist police on scene. Exclusion zone established," police in the state of New South Wales where Sydney is located tweeted.
Less than two hours later, New South Wales Police tweeted that the package was "not suspicious" and lifted the exclusion zone.
"Unattended package on ferry at #CircularQuay deemed not suspicious," the police said.
Australia raised its national terrorism alert level in September over what authorities said was a growing threat of so-called home-grown Islamist extremists.
Police have been out in force in Sydney since mid-December when an Iranian-born Australian with reported ties to radical Islam took 18 people hostage at a city cafe.
He shot dead two people before being gunned down by police.