Two Australian teenagers suspected of planning a US-style school massacre were put into psychiatric care after their concerned headmaster alerted police, reports said Wednesday.
Police confirmed they detained two teenage boys last week after receiving information from the headmaster of a high school in Crookwell, northwest of Sydney, for allegedly making threats, but provided no further details.
The 16-year-olds planned a Columbine-style massacre, drawing up a hit-list of students and staff they planned to target and discussing their plans on an Internet chat site, Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
The paper said a fellow student at Crookwell High School in Goulburn, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of Sydney, raised concerns with the principal, who passed on the information to police.
"Both boys are now in psychiatric care," a police spokesman told AFP.
Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, who did not provide details of the alleged plot, said authorities had to take threats seriously, particularly after school shootings in the United States.
"It would be naive of me to even consider ruling out a similar type incident here in Australia," he told reporters.
But one of the boys, who was released from psychiatric care later Wednesday, denied being part of any massacre plot.
"I don't think he (my friend) really sent any emails, he just generally talked about it here and there," the boy, who has not been charged, told Network Ten.
"People took it the wrong way and thought he was serious about it all," he said.
Gunman Cho Seung-Hui killed 33 people, including himself, in last month's Virginia Tech massacre, while students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot dead 13 then turned their guns on themselves in the 1999 Columbine school killings.
Australia had one of the world's worst massacres by a lone gunman in 1996, when Martin Bryant killed 35 people in a rampage through Port Arthur in Tasmania, prompting the introduction of strict gun control laws here.
Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2007, 18:27