SINGAPORE - In a simulated terror attack on Saturday, two vehicles exploded outside the Singapore Sports Hub just after noon followed by the release of a chemical agent inside the stadium as a sporting event took place.
Unexploded improvised explosive devices were also found in the stadium, people were evacuated, and those who ran to Kallang Wave Mall for safety found themselves facing four gunmen.
Responding to the mock attacks were 600 officers from seven key national agencies - such as the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Armed Forces - who evacuated spectators, put out fires and apprehended terrorists.
This was part of the ninth Exercise Northstar, first introduced in 1997, to test the readiness and coordination between national agencies in responding to major emergencies in Singapore. Volunteers were involved in the exercise for the first time, with 1,300 playing the roles of evacuees, with some helping with evacuation too.
Observing the exercise on Saturday was Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and other members of the Cabinet.
PM Lee stressed the need for vigilance in the light of world events, and the fact that Singapore will be hosting the SEA Games.
"We take it very seriously because terrorism is a very live problem for us in this region and in Singapore, we have to be very careful. We see the actions the Malaysian government is taking, we see what's happening in Indonesia, we watch Syria and Iraq, Isis, and we watch what's happening once in a while when a misguided soul who gets self-radicalised and who wants to go and participate in this fight in the Middle East.
"So we have to be very vigilant, we have to practise our response capabilities and it means the police, it means the civil defence it means the health services, the ambulances, it means all our agencies working together so that we can respond coherently.
"And we also have to do that with the support of the population because if you see something suspicious or something is wrong, you notice it's wrong and you sound the alert. If something goes wrong while you're there, you don't panic and you know what to do.
"So this scenario is a very live problem we're dealing with and particularly with the SEA Games coming here we want to be quite sure we're not running any chances. Major sports events sometimes attract attention and is a trophy target to attack. We must be quite prepared for the different things that could go wrong."
Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen also emphasised the need for vigilance in a Facebook post on Thursday.