Police shoot man outside Asia security summit
An Asia- Pacific security summit was briefly put on lockdown Sunday after police shot dead a local motorist who tried to flee a checkpoint in a car later found to contain drugs, officials said.
The three- day Shangri- La Dialogue attended by U. S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and counterparts from around the world along with top military officials ended at midday Sunday.
But before dawn, police opened fire at a car with three Singaporean men after they tried to crash through a barricade outside the annual summit’s venue, the Shangri- La Hotel.
The 34- year- old driver was killed and one passenger was wounded and hospitalized. Both passengers are now under arrest.
“Substances believed to be controlled drugs and an item believed to be a drug- taking utensil were found on the men arrested,” the police said in a statement.
“The driver and one of the passengers are wanted by authorities for various offenses,” the statement said, adding that no weapons or explosives were found in the vehicle.
Shootings are extremely rare in Singapore, which boasts one of the world’s lowest crime rates, but the city- state considers itself a potential terrorist target.
The city- state’s drug laws are among the toughest in the world, with courts allowed to impose the death penalty for people convicted of trafficking large amounts of certain drugs like heroin.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that this is an isolated incident. Police investigations are ongoing,” the statement added.
After the shooting, police
officers initially told people attending the summit that the hotel was on complete lockdown, with no entry allowed. Roads and pathways leading up to the hotel, located in Singapore’s leafy diplomatic quarter, were shut off with barricade tape.
But access to the venue was gradually eased on Sunday morning. The conference resumed at 9: 00 a. m. ( 0100 GMT) with no signs of alarm in the main lobby.
An AFP photographer said a bullet hole could be seen on the front wind- screen of the vehicle as it was towed away at noon.
A resident at a nearby condominium told the Straits Times newspaper that she heard two gunshots just after 4: 00 a. m. local time.
Security had been heightened for the summit with roadblocks and checkpoints set up in the vicinity of the venue.
Some were manned by members of the Gurkha Contingent — elite Nepalese fighters who are part of the local police force.
Singapore Gurkha police officers guard the grounds surrounding the venue of the 14th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, or IISS, Asia Security Summit in Singapore, Sunday, May 31.