Police in Christchurch find suspected bomb, man arrested

"Police have located a package containing a suspected explosive device and ammunition at a vacant address on Newcastle Street in Christchurch," superintendent John Price said in a statement.
Police in Christchurch find suspected bomb, man arrested

New Zealand police found a suspected bomb and ammunition Tuesday in a vacant lot in Christchurch, the scene of last month's mosque shootings which killed 50 Muslim worshippers.

Police cordoned off streets late Tuesday afternoon in thePhillipstown area just outside the central business district and evacuatedlocal houses.

Shortly after 6:00pm (0600 GMT) they said a military bombsquad had rendered a suspicious package safe and a 33-year-old man had beenarrested and was "assisting police with inquiries".

"Police have located a package containing a suspectedexplosive device and ammunition at a vacant address on Newcastle Street inChristchurch," superintendent John Price said in a statement.

"The NZDF EOD (NZ Defence Force Explosive OrdnanceDisposal) team have rendered the package safe." Price did not provide anybackground about the man or his possible motivations.

Christchurch remains on alert after the March attacks inwhich a self-styled white supremacist shot dead 50 people and injured another39 in attacks on two mosques.

Just last week, the South Island city hosted a massivesecurity operation as Britain's Prince William visited survivors of theatrocity and praised the country's response to the massacre.

While the cordons prompted by the latest scare had beenlifted, Price urged residents to remain vigilant.

"Members of the community are asked to continue toreport any concerning behaviour or activity in their neighbourhoods as we allwork together to ensure the safety of our community," he said.

The gunman allegedly behind the mosque shootings,28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, is in a maximum-security prison inAuckland has been ordered to undergo psychiatric tests.

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