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Armed response protocol to be reviewed: defense minister

2017/08/18 17:48:30

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) A military policeman injured by a man wielding a sword outside the Presidential Office Friday raised the question as to why no other armed personnel opened fire on the attacker, to which the defense minister responded that the protocol for using armed force will be reviewed.

Facing questions from reporters, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said that military police are tasked with protecting their superiors' safety and also their own safety during an attack.

However, in Friday's case "he (the attacked military policeman) had no time to use his gun," said Feng.

"It was already very challenging for the military police to stop the assailant (from further entering the Presidential Office)," Feng said.

He added that he could not imagine the scenario if the sword-wielding man had stormed into the Presidential Office during its annual "Family Day," when the family members of employees and government officials posted at the office spend the day there.

According to police, the assailant, aged 51 and identified by his surname of Lu (呂), managed to approach the guarded west wing of the Presidential Office on the intersection of Bo'ai Road and Zhangsha Street at around 10:15 p.m., whereupon he struck at the neck of the guard with the sword.

Lu was overpowered by other guards and prevented from entering the building, police said, adding that the injured military policeman, who suffered from lacerations to the right side of his neck, left ear and both upper limbs, was rushed to the nearby National Taiwan University Hospital for treatment.

An initial police investigation indicated that Lu used a hammer to smash a display case at the Armed Forces Museum containing the Japanese military sword and took the weapon before heading to the Presidential Office to carry out his attack.

Police found a communist People's Republic of China flag in the assailant's bag.

Asked what prompted the man to launch the attack, Tsai Han-cheng (蔡漢政), head of the Jieshou Police Office affiliated with the Zhongzheng First Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department, said that Lu claimed during interrogation that he wanted to "demonstrate my political position."

Lu has been handed over to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for further investigation.

Meanwhile, Presidential Office Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) issued a statement condemning the attack after visiting the wounded military policeman in hospital.

(By Liu Chien-pang and Elizabeth Hsu)

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Assailant claims sword attack at Presidential Office was political