Beijing steps up subway security checks after attack

Beijing is stepping up security checks at subway stations after a series of deadly attacks and before next month`s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

AFP| Updated: May 28, 2014, 14:11 PM IST

Beijing: Beijing is stepping up security checks at subway stations after a series of deadly attacks and before next month`s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The new procedures in China`s capital have added as much as an hour to residents` commutes in the notoriously crowded city of 20 million people, with queues outside some subway stations snaking dozens of metres long at rush hour.

Beijing already has hundreds of X-ray machines and security staff stationed at subway stations to check passengers` personal belongings, part of a series of security measures taken ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.

But the new measures, in force at many subway stations, require passengers to undergo full-body security checks.

Armed police are also being dispatched throughout the city, part of "a three-tier patrol protocol that covers the skies, subways and streets", the state-run China Daily newspaper said Wednesday.

June 4 marks 25 years since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, one of China`s most politically sensitive anniversaries, and authorities routinely clamp down on any attempts publicly to commemorate it. 

China has also been grappling with a spate of violent attacks targeting civilians, which Beijing has blamed on separatists from the far-western region of Xinjiang. 

Last week five people killed 39 people and wounded more than 90 at a market in Xinjiang`s regional capital Urumqi. 

In March knifemen killed 29 people and wounded 143 at a railway station in the southwestern city of Kunming, an incident dubbed "China`s 9/11" by state media.