Beijing stages terror drill after Mumbai attack
AP - 1 hour 39 minutes ago
BEIJING - Police commandos in Beijing conducted an anti-terror exercise modeled after last month's deadly shooting rampage in Mumbai to strengthen preparedness against such attacks, state media said.
Saturday's drill was the latest move by Chinese security forces to guard against terror threats, particularly those from separatists battling for an independent Muslim homeland in the far western territory of Xinjiang.
Xinhua News Agency said the drill simulated a situation in which a group of terrorists set off explosions in the city and were holding hostages at a hotel.
Officers from the Beijing Special Armed Police Unit were lowered by helicopter onto the roof of a five-story building. They then scaled down its sides and broke windows to enter. Once inside they practiced shooting at moving targets before rescuing the hostages, the report said.
During the Nov. 26 assault on Mumbai, India's commercial center, gunmen raided a railway station and took over two luxury hotels and a Jewish center in a 60-hour siege that left 164 people plus nine of the 10 gunmen dead.
"The drill was aimed at preventing terrorist attacks, especially after the Mumbai attack, which had definite targets and careful plan," police unit head Xiao Yong was quoted as saying. "We noticed that the terrorists attacked different sites of the city in different ways, such as explosions, shooting, kidnapping and a gunfight with the police."
The Public Security Ministry said earlier this month that China plans to send additional police liaisons to countries facing major terror threats in a bid to boost cooperation with local security forces and head-off attacks.
China says it has foiled several planned attacks this year, including some targeting the Beijing Olympics. While terror experts say the likelihood of a successful attack in China is low, intelligence gathering, especially abroad, is seen as Beijing's biggest weakness in combating such threats.
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