Friday Mar 15, 2019
AUCKLAND: The New Zealand military detonated two unattended bags near an Auckland railway station Friday, as the country was put on high alert following a deadly terror attack on two mosques.
"A short time ago Defence Force personnel carried out a controlled explosion of the bags as a precautionary measure," police said in a statement.
"Police can confirm the bags were not suspicious and contained scaffolding equipment."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that New Zealand's threat level had been raised to "high" in response to the deadly terror attack in which 40 people were killed.
"We have lifted our threat level from low to high," Ardern said, adding that three people had been detained who were not on extremist watch lists.
"We have tightened our response from our agencies at the border, at the airports. In fact, at every level, we have a heightened response."
Australian police said they were increasing patrols around NSW mosques in light of the Christchurch attacks.
The police described the move as a precaution as "there is no ongoing or specific threat to any mosque or place of worship" in the state.