|The Lingyin Temple in east China’s Hangzhou has set up an anti-terror contingent, the first of its kind among Chinese temples, to ward off possible terror attacks.(Photo/ Xinhua)|
The Lingyin Temple in east China’s Hangzhou has set up an anti-terror contingent, the first of its kind among Chinese temples, to ward off possible terror attacks.
Founded on April 1, the anti-terror squad consists of 20 monks and all the 25 security guards in the temple. The monks prayed to Buddha during the day and trained at night. Only those aged 20 to 40 with an agile body and quick reactions can join the team. Some members are retired military veterans.
The launch of the team came after the terrorist attack at Kunming Railway Station in southwest China's Yunnan Province on the evening of March 1, which caused 29 deaths and 143 injuries.
The temple regularly receives 10,000 tourists every day. It was deemed necessary to set up such a team to prepare for possible terrorist attacks.
Besides the squad, the temple also kept shields and batons at several locations, and its security guards will carry batons and pepper spray at all times.
The Lingyin Temple, built in 326 AD, enjoys a 1,700-year history. In 2012, world's largest coffee chain Starbucks opened an outlet close to the temple, sparking a heated debate in China.