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China confirms one-day torch relay in Tibet

June 19, 2008

Agence France-Presse (AFP)
June 17, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) -- The Olympic torch will travel to Tibet this
Saturdaay but only for a day, the organising committee behind the
Beijing Games said, citing "adjustments" due to last month's earthquake.

"After the Sichuan earthquake on May 12, the Beijing Olympic
organising committee has carried out adjustments to the domestic legs
of the torch relay," the committee said in a statement on its website
on Wednesday.

"The Tibet Autonomous Region leg of the relay will be on June 21,
with the relay taking place in Lhasa," it went on, referring to the
Himalayan region's capital.

State media reported earlier that China had scrapped its plans to
take the torch through Tibet for three days due to the quake.

The Beijing News said earlier this week that it would be replaced by
a trip of just one day Saturday, but officials had so far declined comment.

The torch is currently travelling through Xinjiang, a Muslim-majority
region in China's northwest, for a three-day, four-city tour.

The stops in Xinjiang and the Tibetan regions of China are the most
sensitive of the domestic route, which runs for thousands of miles
(kilometres) over three months through every province and region of
the country.

China accuses Muslim separatists in Xinjiang of plotting terrorist
attacks on the Games and has stepped up security in the region ahead
of the relay.

Tibetans are also accused of targeting the Olympics following a
crackdown on anti-Chinese government unrest in Lhasa in March in
which exiled Tibetan leaders say 203 people died.

China has reported killing one Tibetan "insurgent" and says "rioters"
were responsible for 21 deaths.
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