Man charged with smashing New Zealand parliament doors with axe

New Zealand police arrested aman who smashed the glass doors of the parliament with an axe onWednesday, although he did not attempt to enter the building.

Police were called to the parliament building, known as theBeehive, about 5:30 a.m. after a 31-year-old man was spottedwith an axe. He was arrested in about 10 minutes, the policesaid in a statement.

"The man caused some damage to glass panels but did notattempt to enter the building," the police said.

New Zealand’s lawmakers are on summer break, and there werefew people in the building at the time. The reason behind theattack was unclear and the police were investigating.

The man was due to appear in Wellington district court laterWednesday and has been charged with intentional damage andpossession of an offensive weapon.

Attacks on the parliament and on lawmakers are rare in NewZealand, a country of 5 million people, where ministers and topofficials walk freely and are often seen mixing with the publicat shops and cafes in the capital, Wellington.

In another rare attack in 2019, Climate Change ministerJames Shaw was punched in the face while walking to work.

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