Massive security to protect Olympic torch from anti-China protesters

March 21st, 2008 - 2:52 pm ICT by admin  

London, Mar 21 (ANI): A massive security operation is under way to protect the Olympic torch from anti-China protesters when it arrives in London next month as part of its round-the-world journey to Beijing.

Security experts fear that London will be the first flashpoint for Free Tibet demonstrations along the torchs 130-day global tour organised by China to promote the Olympic Games in August, The Times reported.

A security adviser to the Chinese Government has given warning that Londons chances of staging its own torch tour in the run-up to 2012 could be jeopardised if Beijings relay is hijacked by politics.

About 2,000 officers from the Metropolitan Police including air and marine support and mounted police will be mobilised for the torch relay on April 6. The wage bill is estimated at one million pounds, the paper reported.

The Olympic flame will be carried 85,000 miles by 21,880 torchbearers through 135 cities. The London section will be among the most high-profile. The eight-hour procession from Wembley Stadium to the O2 centre on the Greenwich Peninsula will close large parts of the capital to traffic and is expected to draw big crowds along the 31-mile route.

Human rights activists highlighting the issues of Tibet, Burma and Darfur are planning a series of demonstrations along the route. Some parts will be fenced off but others will be open to the public, with celebrations planned.

If the relay is seriously disrupted in London or if protests turn violent, it could mean the global tour being curtailed. (ANI)

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