UK trains emergency services to tackle Mumbai-style attack
London: Britain's emergency services are being trained to be better prepared to tackle a lone gunman or Mumbai-style terror attack on streets, the government said on Thursday.
Security Minister James Brokenshire said Britain has to be ready for a terror attack "in whatever form it takes". That includes a fast-moving attack by a lone gunman of the kind seen in recent years in Oslo or Toulouse, he said.
"The experiences in Toulouse and in Norway demonstrate the impact that a lone individual can have if sufficiently motivated, while the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai were characterised by an ongoing firearms and explosives attack, and by hostage-taking," Brokenshire was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"So we are improving the way the emergency services work together in response to a major incident... The overall aim is to ensure that the blue light services are trained and exercised to work together as effectively as possible in response to a major incident, including fast-moving terrorist scenarios, so that as many lives as possible can be saved."
He said the programme would build upon the work done to date on the joint emergency response to specific risks, including a marauding terrorist firearms attack and incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear substances.
"Staying ahead of the threat means ensuring our emergency response is capable of dealing with the threat in whatever form it takes," the minister said.
Home Secretary Theresa May has asked the emergency services "to make further improvements to the joint response".
A gunman with alleged links to al Qaeda killed seven people in France in March. Lone gunman and far-right extremist Anders Breivik killed 69 people in Oslo last year.
In 2008, Pakistan-base LeT militants had launched terror attacks in Mumbai, killing 166 people.