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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish police said they had launched an operation on Sunday in response to the threat of a terror attack targeting a church in centre of Helsinki.

"Police became aware of facts that gave a reason to suspect preparation of a terrorist act. According to the information, the Temppeliaukio church would be the target of a possible act. The police launched all possible measures to address the threat," the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said in a statement on Monday.

Helsinki police on Sunday sent several units to patrol near the Temppeliaukio church, which is a popular tourist location, saying it was trying to apprehend a suspect in the area.

The NBI statement said Sunday's specific operation was now over.

Built directly into solid rock, the so called Rock Church is situated in the centre of Helsinki, less than a kilometre away from the Finnish parliament.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) raised its threat level on Wednesday, saying it had become aware of more serious terrorism-related projects and plans in Finland.

The Nordic country has not witnessed attacks like other European countries, but Helsinki has grown more concerned after recent attacks in neighbouring Sweden and Russia.

(Reporting by Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Reuters