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City shocked by alleged Vic terror plot

AAP logoAAP 23/12/2016 Helen Velissaris

Commuters are streaming out of Flinders Street Station, tourists are posing for happy snaps at Federation Square and parishioners are climbing the steps of St Paul's Cathedral. Life goes on in Melbourne.

But many are shocked by the news police foiled a terrorist plot to attack the city's CBD on Christmas Day.

Five people are expected to be charged after police raided homes in Melbourne's north over the alleged plan to use bombs and weapons to terrorise Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and St Paul's Cathedral.

Jarrod Hill and Nick Sharp, who run an ice cream stand at Federation Square, were troubled.

"I don't know how humans could do that, it's beyond me," Mr Hill said.

"You're taking out the heart of Melbourne on Christmas Day."

Many of Mr Sharp's customers are tourists and he worries Federation Square would near-deserted if Melbourne lost its reputation as a safe place to visit.

"If there was a bombing it would make a huge difference - especially here at one of the biggest tourist attractions," he told AAP.

At least half a dozen additional police officers were stationed at Federation Square on Friday to reassure the public.

Across the road at St Paul's Cathedral, parishioners attended the 12.15pm Friday Anglican service as usual.

The Dean of St Paul's, Dr Andreas Loewe, says Christmas services will be held as scheduled with extra security.

The National Gallery of Victoria in Federation Square is also open to visitors but will be closed on Christmas Day as normal.

And trains will continue to run in and out of Flinders Street Station.

"There is no change to the previously scheduled services over the holiday period," a Public Transport Victoria spokesman told AAP.

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