BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Beijing police deployed 150 armed patrol vehicles to city streets Monday to maintain stability in the capital.
The armed vehicles will become the "principal forces" in countering street terrorism and violence in Beijing.
Sources with the Beijing Public Security Bureau said the patrols will mainly be responsible for incidents involving guns, bombs, mass violence or terrorism. The vehicles, stationed at main intersections with heavy traffic, will be a deterent to terrorists. Each vehicle will be deployed with nine policemen and four assistants. The patrol forces will cover the main streets of Beijing, with each vehicle covering no more than three kilometers. The police are required to reach the scene of any incident within three minutes after receiving a report.
The move is an escalation of the anti-terror efforts following the latest string of terror attacks. An explosion at a railway station in Urumqi, regional capital of northwest China's Xinjiang, on April 30 followed terrorist attacks at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming in March and at China's iconic Tian'anmen Square in Beijing last October.
Beijing police have run at least three anti-terror drills over the past three weeks to improve responsiveness and coordination. The latest drill on Thursday involved a police helicopter and more than 30 vehicles from SWAT units, traffic control and other emergency response departments.
The People's Public Security University of China announced recently that it would recruit 80 students across the country for its new anti-terrorism course. Major units of the course include research on terrorist organizations, international cooperation, risk assessment, reconnaissance and evidence collection, the Beijing Youth Daily cited sources with the university as saying.