(en) APEC Security Includes Chemical Warfare Training

Saul Chernos (schernos@torfree.net)
Sun, 9 Nov 1997 09:35:25 -0500 (EST)

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[1] [IMAGE] The Evening Telegram -Telycentre Today's Top News Transparent pixel [2][IMAGE] [3][IMAGE] --> [4]Home [5]Search [6]Other News Links National News | [7]World News | [8]National & InternationalSports | [9]Business | [10]Lifestyles/Entertainment _________________________________________________________________ APEC SECURITY INCLUDES CHEMICAL WARFARE TRAINING EDMONTON (CP) –Edmonton soldiers have been training to repulse a possible gas attack against the Asia Pacific Economic Conference in Vancouver later this month.  Between 50 and 60 members of 1 Service Battalion and 1 Field Ambulance have been preparing to act as a decontamination unit should the high-powered conference be the target a chemical or biological attack, the Edmonton Sun reported Saturday.  The Sun attributed the information to an unnamed source familiar with the training.  The troops, who will provide specialized support to the joint RCMP-city police security force for the conference, are scheduled to move out to the Lower Mainland on Nov. 14 and return on Nov. 29.  The conference, featuring 16 heads of state and the "heads of economies" of Taiwan and the Hong Kong special economic zone, runs from Nov. 19 to 25.  The source said the rationale behind the training was the threat of an attack similar to the one launched by Japan's Aum Shinri Kyo religious cult against the Tokyo subway system in 1995. Twelve people died and thousands were sickened when the cultists released sarin nerve gas on commuter trains.  "That sounds like a contingency plan which we tend not to be too garrulous about in advance," army spokesman Capt. Dan Thomas said from Vancouver. "This is probably the largest diplomatic event in Canadian history and we've only got one chance to get it right. Hopefully when it's over and nothing happened, we can tell you more.  "Where these people come from, some of their policies aren't that popular," Thomas said, understating some of the political and social tension in hotspots such as China, Indonesia, North and South Korea and the Philippines.  Thomas said Edmonton Garrison will provide about a third of the 1,000 soldiers assigned to the conference, including a couple of 408 Squadron's Griffon helicopters and crews, and their responsibilities will be mostly logistics and transportation.  Vancouver RCMP spokesman Cpl. John Buis also declined to say if the Asia Pacific summit –which he called the largest security operation ever undertaken in Canada –was aware of any specific threat of a terrorist attack.  "We have to be prepared for everything and we believe we will be. It's not just the delegates we have to protect but the citizens of Canada as well," Buis said.  | [11]Home | [12]Headline News | [13]Weather | [14]Classifieds |
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