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Crowds fill Vic terror target cathedral

AAP logoAAP 23/12/2016 Angus Livingston and Jacqueline Le

Crowds have packed out Melbourne's St Paul's Cathedral despite it being the target of an alleged Islamic State-inspired Christmas Day bombing plot.

Four men have been charged with preparing or planning a terrorist act over the alleged plot targeting Flinders Street Station, Federation Square and St Paul's Cathedral.

About 1500 people filled the church on Saturday afternoon for a Christmas Eve service, and Dean of St Paul's, Andreas Loewe, said security had been beefed-up.

"The cathedral has its own internal security in place, but Victoria Police is also providing additional, both visible and invisible security around the cathedral precinct," Dr Loewe told reporters on Saturday.

More than 6500 people are expected in the church for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Islamic Council of Victoria president Mohamed Mohideen was at the service at St Paul's and called for the community to be united and work towards peace.

"There is a diverse community (in Victoria), we live together, we live in harmony, and we live for the betterment of Australia," Mr Mohideen told reporters.

Four men - Hamza Abbas, 21, of Flemington, Ahmed Mohamed, 24, from Meadow Heights, 22-year-old Ibrahim Abbas and 26-year-old Abdullah Chaarani - were each charged with one count of preparing or planning a terror attack.

All four have been remanded into custody after heavily armed police swooped on homes in Melbourne's northern suburbs on Friday morning.

Victorian police chief commissioner Graham Ashton says any threat linked to the men's alleged activities has been dealt with.

"I can certainly indicate to the community that through yesterday's investigation ... there is no additional information or criminal intelligence that suggests there is any ongoing threat," he told reporters at Federation Square on Saturday.

"You should feel confident about coming down here as this is a great place this time of year, and people are going around enjoying themselves as they should."

But there will be an increased police presence over the Christmas holiday period, with extra security at the MCG for the Boxing Day cricket Test.

"That's not because we have specific intelligence we're concerned about, we just want to make sure that we are playing it safe and keeping the community safe," Mr Ashton said.

Premier Daniel Andrews says it's important the community feels reassured that authorities are doing everything they can to help them enjoy the holidays.

"Every Victorian can be confident that police and their partners are doing everything they can to keep us safe," Mr Andrews said.

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