Monday, April 07, 2008


Hundreds of protesters were on Paris's streets.
Paris protests

Protests against the Olympic torch relay ahead of the Beijing Games have spread to France's capital, Paris.
Four people were arrested, including two who were taking part in demonstrations critical of Chinese rule in Tibet, AFP news agency said.
Officials twice extinguished the torch and put it on a bus for safety reasons.
Earlier, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, expressed concern over unrest in Tibet and the torch protests.
The French protests come after 37 people were arrested during pro-Tibet protests which disrupted Sunday's relay in London.
'Olympic values'
Security in Paris was extremely tight, with some 3,000 police on duty, riding motorcycles, jogging or on skates.

About 500 protesters were reported to be involved in the demonstrations, mainly near the Eiffel Tower.
See the Paris route

Several hundred demonstrators waving banners gathered on the Trocadero esplanade where the relay began at 1235 (1035 GMT).
A member of the French Green party was restrained by police after attempting to grab the torch from the first of Paris's 80 torch bearers, former world 400 metres hurdles champion Stephane Diagana, Reuters news agency said.
Police twice put out the torch and carried it onto a bus, although the flame itself was kept alight in a safety lantern.
On the second occasion, the flame was being relayed out of a Paris traffic tunnel by an athlete in a wheelchair when it was taken onto a bus because protesters booed and began chanting "Tibet", the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Speaking in Beijing earlier, IOC President Jacques Rogge said he was concerned over both the recent unrest in Paris and the torch protests.

China has expressed disgust at the torch protests in London"The International Olympic Committee has expressed its serious concern and calls for a rapid peaceful resolution in Tibet," Mr Rogge said.
He condemned the attempts to disrupt the torch relay, saying violent protests, "for whatever reason," are "not compatible with the values of the torch relay or the Olympic Games".
China said the protests during London's Sunday torch relay were the work of "a few Tibetan separatists" attempting "to sabotage" the event, AP reported.
London's relay saw protesters trying to douse and even snatch the Olympic flame as athletes and celebrities carried it through the city.
The demonstrations have been sparked by China's security crackdown in Tibet following a series of protests against Chinese rule which swept the region last month.
Tibetan exile groups say Chinese security forces killed dozens of protesters. Beijing says about 19 people were killed in rioting.
The torch was lit in Olympia, Greece, on 24 March and will go through 20 countries before being carried into the opening ceremony at the Beijing Games on 8 August.



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