The Police Rapid Response Unit (MMAD) was on Tuesday afternoon carrying out a crisis exercise involving terrorism in the Makedonitissa area of Nicosia. Two roads, Byzantium and Queen Frederica were closed off to traffic for the duration, a police announcement said.
The scenario involved the taking over of an embassy and the holding of hostages by terrorists. The officers were cordoning off the area and set up a crisis management centre while trained negotiators would communicate with the hostage takers. The scenario foresaw an escalation of the situation culminating in a raid to neutralise the terrorists. There would be a limited use of weaponry and people might hear explosions, police said. The public should not be alarmed.
Police said the aim was to always be at full readiness to tackle any crisis situation. The exercise is due to end in the early evening.