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London plans biggest ever security exercise for Olympic Games

(Xinhua)

09:26, February 21, 2012

LONDON, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- London is planning a massive security exercise this week for the upcoming Olympic Games, the Metropolitan police authorities said on Monday.

The major exercise will test the response of emergency services and the British government to a potential terror attack during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The exercise would envision a terrorist attack on Aug. 7 or 8 targeting London's metro system as well as the city's transport network, something that might bring back haunting memories of the deadliest attack on the city since World War II in 2005.

A total of 52 commuters were killed by suicide bombers in four separate attack on the London metro system on July 7, 2005, one day after the International Olympic Committee announced that London would host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Aldwych station, a disused former metro station in central London, will be the focus of the exercise.

"We want to deliver a Games where the sporting achievement and the Olympic spirit is what people will remember - not the security," said British security minister James Brokenshire.

"To ensure that happens, we need to test our plans and this exercise gives us the opportunity to inform, reassure and build confidence in the UK's safety and security operation," Brokenshire added.

"We are determined to leave nothing to chance to deliver a safe and secure Games that London, Britain and the world can enjoy," he said.

"This is part of a series of exercises which we have run in the lead up to the Games, but this is the first with such a significant response from the emergency services on the ground," said Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, the national Olympic security coordinator.

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