China / Society

Chinese Buddhist temple forms anti-terror squad

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-03 21:55

HANGZHOU - A renowned Buddhist temple in East China's Zhejiang province has set up an anti-terrorist and anti-riot squad to cope with potential emergencies as the peak travel season approaches.

The squad at the 1,700-year-old Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, is made up of 20 monks aged between 20 and 40 and over 20 security guards, Master Jueheng said on Thursday.

It is the first such initiative for Chinese temples. The squad's members are equipped with shields, pepper spray and batons.

"The squad members practice Buddhism in the day and take part in training exercises at night," said Jueheng.

Local police authorities are responsible for the training and guidance.

"We set up the squad to guard against violence and terrorist attacks in a bid to protect the safety of visitors and Buddhism believers," said Jueheng.

The temple receives a daily average of 10,000 visitors and believers, and that number can rise even higher during some major holidays.

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