BEIJING _ Hundreds of police staged a mock terrorist attack on the Beijing
Olympics' sailing venue, "hijacking" an oil tanker and trying to break into the
facility, state media reported Saturday.
The exercise, involving more than 800 police and 27 vessels on Friday, was
part of the Chinese government's security preparations for next year's Games.
The preparations have also included drills testing police readiness in
handling radioactive "dirty bomb" attacks and hostage situations.
China's military has set up a special unit trained to counter threats such as
biochemical or nuclear terror attacks, state media have reported.
The drill in the eastern Chinese seaside city of Qingdao was held in the
Olympic sailing venue area, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
"Terrorists" on a motorboat, armed with guns and bombs, simulated taking over
an oil tanker and seizing two hostages. Marine police were dispatched to capture
the fake terrorists," the report said.
Qingdao, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Beijing, will host the
Olympic sailing competition from August 9 to 21 next year. About 400 athletes
will compete for medals in 11 sailing events.
Luo Gan, the top law and order official of the Communist Party of China,
watched the exercise and urged public security departments to intensify
anti-terrorist efforts to ensure a safe Olympics.
"We should take the opportunity of the Olympics to improve security services
for Chinese society," Luo said.
State media have reported that plans drawn up in 2005 allocated US$300
million (euro225 million) for security _ only about 20 percent of the amount
spent for the 2004 Athens Games.
Liu Shaowu, head of security of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the
Olympic Games, said in April organizers had kept security costs low by relying
on domestic providers for surveillance systems and other necessary equipment.