Australian naval base in lockdown, bomb squad called

Australian naval base in lockdown, bomb squad called
Visitors are seen on the deck of the Australian navy destroyer HMAS Vampire at the Maritime Museum in Sydney on September 23, 2014. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Canberra was treating as genuine a call by the Islamic State group for Muslims to indiscriminately kill Australians, issued after anti-terrorism raids foiled an alleged abduction plot.

SYDNEY - A naval base in the Australian state of Victoria is in lockdown and a resident of the base is in custody, with a police bomb squad heading to the scene to investigate unspecified "hazardous material", security officials said on Thursday.

An exclusion zone of 400 metres had been declared around a residential apartment at HMAS Cerberus, a naval training base on the Mornington Peninsula, 75 km (45 miles) southeast of Melbourne, Victorian police said.

Police took the security measures after a routine search of the apartment found a number of unspecified items on Thursday morning. A statement from the Australian Defence Force said "hazardous material" had been found, but gave no further details.

A bomb response unit and members from the arson and explosives squad were enroute, a Victorian police spokeswoman told Reuters.

The resident was understood to be in the custody of other naval officers, the spokeswoman added.

She declined to comment further on the items found in the apartment or the nature of the threat.

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