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Australia police take 3 men into custody after deadly siege

Associated Press logo Associated Press 9/06/2017

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australian police on Friday raided homes in Melbourne and took three men into custody as part of their investigation into a siege earlier this week in which a gunman killed an apartment building receptionist and wounded police officers, officials said.

Gunman Yacqub Khayre, 29, was killed by police in Melbourne's suburb of Brighton during the two-hour siege in which he also took a woman hostage.

Three men were taken into custody for questioning and a replica shotgun was seized in the early-morning raids on three homes carried out by more than 150 police and secret service agents, Victoria state Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said.

A 32-year-old man had been arrested but not yet charged. A 31-year-old man and his 51-year-old father had been detained for questioning, a police statement said.

The men were suspected of supplying Khayre with the sawed-off shotgun he used in Monday's violence and were not suspected of posing a national security threat, Patton said.

"We do not have any links between them and terrorism," Patton told reporters.

The raids aimed to "ensure there is no continued threat to the Victorian public in regards to terrorism," he added.

Police have called the violence a terrorist act but said there was no evidence Khayre had planned the violence or had accomplices.

Two of the three police officers shot by Khayre remained in hospital on Friday, Patton said. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the violence.

Khayre, a Somali-born refugee, was acquitted in 2010 of plotting a suicide attack at a Sydney army base a year earlier.

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This story has been corrected to show Khayre was acquitted in the Sydney case in 2010, not 2005.

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