Beijing police launch anti-terror drill simulating Philippine hostage crisis

14:33, September 24, 2010      

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Beijing police launched a large-scale anti-terror drill on Thursday to simulate the bus hostage crisis that happened one month ago in the Philippines.

About 400 police officers participated in the drill, in which special equipment such as helicopters and assault vehicles were used, said Liu Gensheng, a spokesman for the Patrolling Special Police Corps at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

The drill simulated a group of "armed terrorists" hijacking two buses and taking passengers hostage while another group of hostage-taking "terrorists" confronted police officers in a three-story shopping center, Liu said.

"Before the drill, we studied the rescue operation in the Philippine hostage crisis," he said.

"The purpose of the drill is to test the combat power of Beijing's special police and demonstrate the resolve of the police to crack down on violent crimes and maintain social stability," he added.

Security officials and police liaison officers from foreign embassies in Beijing, domestic and overseas journalists and dozens of citizens were invited to watch the drill.

A dismissed policeman hijacked a tour bus carrying 21 Hong Kong tourists in Manila on Aug. 23. The incident ended with eight tourists dead and several others injured. The hostage-taker was also killed during the police assault.

The Philippine police have been criticized for mishandling the ill-fated rescue operation.

The Philippine authorities have shared with China an inquiry report on the incident.

"The long report needs time to be studied earnestly. At this stage, the report shows that the Philippine side takes the issue seriously and sincerely, and the Chinese side gives affirmation in this regard," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular press conference Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua


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