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Tibet issue: 35 held for disrupting Olympic torch relay

April 8, 2008

London, April 06, 2008 (Zee News): Anti-China protesters marred the
Beijing Olympic torch`s parade in the British capital on Sunday, with
police struggling to keep angry pro-independence Tibetans at bay,
arresting at least 35.

Protesters tried to board the bus carrying the torch from the Wembley
Stadium and even attempted to snatch it from a BBC presenter Konnie Huq
after dodging the heavy police cordon on the 50-km route.

At least 35 activists were arrested for public order offences, police
said adding that an estimated 1,000 protestors took to the streets.

In a last minute change of plan, Chinese Ambassador Fu Ying, who was
expected to carry the torch near the Chinese Embassy in London`s
Bloomsbury Square, jogged through Chinatown and handed over the flame
without any disruption.

Former Olympic Rower Steve Redgrave kicked-off the relay that began at
Wembley and protesters were arrested as he handed over the flame to a
teenaged girl.

Tibet Groups had threatened to disrupt the torch relay in London, which
opens the European leg of its tour, in protest against China`s crackdown
in Tibet following the most violent monks-led protests against its rule
in two decades.

Protesters who are demanding a boycott of the games had disrupted the
traditional torch lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, last month.
Metropolitan Police said 2,000 officers were mobilised to maintain order
along the route of the relay.

Braving unseasonal snow and chilly weather, hundreds of people including
sizeable number of pro-Tibetan campaigners lined up the route as the
torch passed through several landmarks in the city, which will host the
2012 Olympics.

Scuffles broke out along the route as hundreds of campaigners chanting
"Free Tibet" protested against china`s human rights record and actions
in Tibet ahead of Beijing Olympics which are slated to start on August 8.
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