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Cyprus

Terrorist exercise at Metropolis Mall hailed a success (photos, video)

08
Photo: Christos Theodorides

An exercise at Metropolis Mall in Larnaca on Tuesday that simulated a terrorist attack was hailed by police as “a success.”

The exercise, Zion 2022, which included two armed men aimed at testing the readiness of the police in responding to such an emergency.

Gunshots were fired and all security drills were promptly activated, Larnaca police spokesperson Michalis Hadjiyiasemi said.

“We think we’ve done pretty well, but there is always room for improvement,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.

“The idea behind Zion 2022 was for staff and visitors at the mall to be involved with a potentially dangerous scenario, as well as to test the police’s level of response to it when called to intervene,” he said.

The exercise was also hailed by the mall’s director Filios Nikolaou, who, like Hadjiyiasemi, said the effort was for everyone’s benefit.

“We will review it and intervene where and if weaknesses are found. In general, though, it was a great success.”

The simulated attack was played out by member of the police, the ambulance and fire services and the rapid response unit (MAAD).

The exercise featured a man and a woman entering the mall wearing balaclavas holding weapons.

They started firing shots and throwing explosive devices near one of the mall’s entrances, simulating a death. The exercise also featured a scenario with two severely injured people, prompting the intervention of the ambulance.

Firefighters also joined the action shortly after, when the two people then left the mall and set fire to a car before attempting to flee the scene.

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