London holds counter-terrorism training on the River Thames

Terror drill Hundreds of armed police in boats zoomed down the river Thames today as part of major anti-terrorist drill in London

More than 200 Met Police officers and staff took part in the exercise, code named "Exercise Anchor".

British police in inflatable powerboats stormed a River Thames cruise boat Sunday as part of an exercise simulating the hijacking of a tourist vessel in London.

The action mostly unfolded alongside the Blackwall Reach, near the Isle of Dogs, between the Millwall and Royal Docks by the Lea Estuary on Sunday.

Police Commander B.J. Harrington said the exercise Sunday was not held in response to a specific threat. "This kind of exercise demonstrates that should a awful event ever happen for real, London is ready for it in the most efficient and effective way possible".

Photos showed armed police dressed in black racing down the river in speedboats before attempting to board the vessel.

"This exercise has undoubtedly helped us to strengthen the working relationship between the other marine agencies that would be involved in dealing with this type of incident on the Thames".

Officers also used the opportunity to deploy marine-trained search dogs on board the vessel.

The Thames exercise is the latest in a regular series of armed training scenarios that police in several United Kingdom cities have been involved in over recent months, aimed at testing the effectiveness of the response here to a mass gun and bomb attack.

The Met said the scenario was not based on any specific intelligence but past year an independent review of London's preparedness to respond to a terrorist attack, ordered by the mayor, recommended strengthening security measures on the river.

The Metropolitan Police tweeted a training exercise was under way and that people should not be alarmed.

The current terrorism threat level in Britain remains at severe meaning that an attack is "highly likely" with members of the public urged to remain vigilant.

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