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Talon

US 'buys town for terror drills'

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US 'buys town for terror drills'

The United States Department of Homeland Security is buying an entire town for use in its anti-terror training, the New York Times reports.

Playas, in the south-west state of New Mexico, will be bought for $5m from the Phelps Dodge mining company, which built it from scratch in the 1970s.

The town, once home to 1,000 people, currently has a population of 50.

Emergency workers will use the site to simulate suicide bombings, anthrax attacks and water-supply poisonings.

'Ghost town'

Although Playas has been in decline since a copper smelter shut, the isolated town just north of the Mexican border is not a typical ghost town.

In addition to 259 ranch-style homes, it features a six-lane bowling alley, a rodeo ring, a helicopter pad, an airstrip, a bar, a shooting range and a swimming pool.

A small local engineering school, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, will be overseeing the project.

Vice-president Van Romero told the New York Times that the town's remaining residents could be offered work on the project.

New Mexico Tech, as it is known, has trained more than 90,000 emergency workers since the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.

It is also currently receiving $20m in grants from the Department of Homeland Security for its antiterrorism programmes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3693366.stm

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How cool is that? I actually know where Playas New Mexico is, and have been by there a few times. If you like desert it is a beautiful place.

I would love to own my own town...a mere 3 million dollars. I will have to check my piggy bank, it is looking pretty full.

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