China simulates terrorism attack ahead of Games

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SHANGHAI, Nov 1 (Reuters) Security services have carried out an anti-terrorism drill at a key port outside the Chinese city of Shanghai to test preparedness ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Xinhua news agency said.

Yesterday's exercise at Yangshan port simulated an attempt by five people to hide in containers at the facility and set off a bomb on a ship, the report said.

''As soon as the simulated attack by the 'terrorists' began, a local headquarters was set up to muster and dispatch emergency forces, a pattern which is expected to serve as a model for Chinese cities in future anti-terrorist work,'' it added.

''The 'terrorists' were soon captured by police officers and the bomb they installed on a ship was demolished successfully, at the end of the exercise,'' Xinhua said.

The drill involved 200 police officers, 13 ships and two helicopters, it added.

''The exercise was a means of testing emergency security systems of Chinese ports in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games,'' Xinhua said.

China has identified terrorist attacks at the biggest threat to the Games, according to state media reports.

The government has not said which groups might target the Games, but China is home several restive minorities such as the Muslim Uighurs in the far western region of Xinjiang who have been blamed by Beijing for bomb attacks in recent years.

Reuters BJR VP0605

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