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150 armed patrol vehicles on Beijing streets to combat terrorism
Publication Date : 13-05-2014
China deployed 150 armed patrol vehicles on the capital's streets on Monday to combat terrorism and violence following a string of attacks nationwide.
The vehicles, stationed at main intersections with heavy traffic, will serve as a deterrent to terrorists, sources with the Beijing Public Security Bureau said.
Each vehicle will be manned with nine police officers and four assistants working in shifts. The patrols will cover the main streets of Beijing, and are required to reach the scene of any incident within three minutes after receiving a report.
A police officer patrolling in one of the vehicles said on Monday that they are only responsible for big incidents and report to the capital's command center.
On April 30, three people including the two attackers were killed and 79 injured in an explosion at a railway station in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. On March 1, terrorists hacked 29 people to death and injured more than 130 people at the railway station in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province.
Beijing police have conducted at least three anti-terror drills over the past three weeks to improve responsiveness and coordination. The latest one on Thursday involved a police helicopter and more than 30 vehicles from SWAT units, traffic control and other emergency response departments.
The People's Public Security University of China announced recently that it would recruit 80 students for its new anti-terrorism class. Major courses include research on terrorist organisations, international cooperation, risk assessment, reconnaissance and evidence collection, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Fang Xiaomei, 42, a housewife from Beijing's Yanqing county, said the patrols can deter criminals and maintain social stability.
A man surnamed Gao from Daxing district said terrorist activities are becoming rampant and threaten the safety of the State and people.
"The latest move reflects the government's resolve to counter terrorism. It surely will deter the terrorists," he said.