In Brief: Cops to shoot armed attackers on sight

Brisbane's Town Hall lit in the colours of the French flag during a vigil for the people of France on Nov 16.
Brisbane's Town Hall lit in the colours of the French flag during a vigil for the people of France on Nov 16.PHOTO: EPA

Cops to shoot armed attackers on sight

SYDNEY• Australian police are being trained to shoot armed extremists on sight, in a change of tactics from "contain and negotiate" amid fears of further terrorist attacks.

Six attacks in Australia have been foiled over the past 12 months, but several have not, including a police employee being shot in the head in Sydney last month by a teenager reportedly shouting religious slogans.

In response the country's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), revealed yesterday that it has begun training police to shoot armed attackers immediately, rather than the "contain and negotiate" protocol that has been in place for decades.

"We're at a point now where the ground has shifted, things have changed and starting with Mumbai onwards there's been any number of attacks where you have a mobile enemy force, which moves through places and kills people," Deputy NSW Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas told 2UE radio. "We would be mad to continue to say we will do nothing but contain and negotiate."

However, he stressed that the "shoot on sight" order would not be appropriate in all circumstances.


Muslims urged to join anti-terror protest

PARIS • The Great Mosque of Paris urged French Muslims yesterday to gather at the country's most important mosque on Friday to say "No to terror" and "We are all Paris!".

A statement called on "all Muslim citizens and their friends" to gather at 2pm to say "no to terror" and voice "their deep attachment to Paris, its diversity and the values of the Republic."

The gathering of French Muslims after Friday prayers was "the best response to those seeking to instill the venom of discord and suspicion within the national community," the statement added.

The rector of the Great Mosque earlier called on all French imams to lead the faithful in Friday prayers for the victims of the country's worst ever terror attacks.

Rector Dalil Boubakeur voiced "horror" at the "unspeakable acts" which had targeted "absolutely innocent" Parisians.

"We, Muslims of France, can only insist on the need for national unity in opposing this misfortune which has afflicted us and which attacks indiscriminately," he said. The suicide bombers, he added, were "people who call themselves Muslims but who should, by rights, be called barbarians".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2015, with the headline 'In Brief: Cops to shoot armed attackers on sight'. Print Edition | Subscribe