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London police simulate Thames boat hijacking in counter-terror exercise
March 19, 2017 / 1:59 PM / in 4 months

London police simulate Thames boat hijacking in counter-terror exercise

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Armed counter terrorism officers of the London Metropolitan Police, take part in a training exercise to rescue hostages, played by actors, from a cruise boat on the river Thames, in London, Britain March 19, 2017.Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - London police simulated a hijacking of a tourist boat on the River Thames on Sunday as part of training for a possible terror attack.

The Metropolitan Police said more than 200 police officers and staff took part in the exercise on Sunday and also involved other organizations including the fire brigade, ambulance service and coastguard.

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"The scenario involved a group of terrorists hijacking a passenger pleasure boat on the Thames and taking a number of hostages, to travel up the Thames to central London to carry out a terrorist attack," the Met Police said in a statement.

"It was designed to test the response and command and control protocols of emergency services, working with maritime partners, in dealing with this kind of situation in a marine environment."

The Met said the scenario was not based on any specific intelligence but last year an independent review of London's preparedness to respond to a terrorist attack, ordered by the mayor, recommended strengthening security measures on the river.

Britain's terrorism threat level is at "severe", which means an attack is deemed "highly likely".

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Jason Neely

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