Australia's counter-terror police arrest two 16-year-old boys, seize knives

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian counter-terror police arrested two 16-year-old boys in Sydney on Wednesday (Oct 12), with officers seizing two knives as they took the teens in for questioning.

New South Wales police issued a short statement confirming the arrests in Bankstown, in Sydney's southwest, adding that the pair was in custody. No charges have been filed.

"Police are unable to release anything further at this time however there is no on-going threat in relation to this matter," the statement said.

Reports said the boys, who were not named, were allegedly carrying large knives.

Australian officials say they have prevented 10 terror attacks on home soil in the past two years, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull describing the threat of a terror attack as "real".

The arrests come just weeks after a 22-year-old man, who police said was "inspired by" the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, stabbed a 59-year-old grandfather out walking in Sydney, leaving him with serious injuries.

Two days before the stabbing, a teenage boy was charged with making threats at the Sydney Opera House, with both incidents following an IS call to target high-profile Australian sites.