Toa Payoh hawker centre "attacked" by gunmen in anti-terror exercise

SINGAPORE - A pair of "terrorists", brandishing revolvers, stormed a hawker centre in Toa Payoh Lorong 1 on Saturday (Aug 6).

They "fired" at the crowd, "killing" four and "wounding" one.

Before the situation got worse, police arrived on the scene and "killed" the gunmen. The Singapore Civil Defence Force also attended to victims.

The scene was part of a counter-terrorism exercise organised by the Toa Payoh West-Balestier Constituency on its Emergency Preparedness Day.

It comes in the wake of the arrests of six terror suspects on Friday (Aug 5) by the Indonesia authorities over a plot to hit Singapore's Marina Bay with a rocket from Batam.

The men, aged between 19 and 46, were arrested at various locations across Batam.

The Toa Payoh West-Balestier Constituency said it has equipped about 1,200 residents in emergency preparedness skills since March, in line with the national SGSecure counter-terrorism movement.

These include teaching them first aid skills, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, as well as operating an automated external defibrillator.

They were also taught protocols such as "run, hide, tell" in the event of an attack, and "press, tie, tell" if someone is injured in an attack.

Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, as well as Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Chee Hong Tat, said the exercise is timely, considering the news of the terrorist arrests on Friday, and other attacks across the globe.

He said the planned attacks "bring home the point that we have to stay vigilant and be prepared for attacks that will come whether it is within our shores or from the region around us".

Mr Chee said the skills residents have learnt will make a difference in the aftermath of an attack.

He added that it is important to stay united as terrorists want to create fear and confusion in society.

"The threat won't just go away and what we can do, very importantly, is that we must stay united as one people. We must be alert, prepared, so if something were to happen, we will be ready," he said.

Holding the event before National Day was also especially significant, Mr Chee said.

"Aug 9 is a day where all of us celebrate our Singapore story - one where people of different races and religions live together in peace and harmony. By participating...we reaffirm our commitment and resolve in protecting our multi-racial, multi-religious way of life."