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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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Beijing assures safe Olympics

Latest update : 2008-08-05

Following Monday's attack in China's Xinjiang region, Chinese authorities are determined to reassure the international community. Beijing also announced the capture of 18 'foreign terrorists' in the northwest of the country.

China's Olympic organisers said Monday they had taken "detailed precautions" for the upcoming Beijing leg of the torch relay as state media reported a deadly attack in northwest Xinjiang killed 16 police.
  
The Olympic torch relay begins a three-day journey across the Chinese capital on Wednesday, when it will pass through iconic locations, including The Great Wall and Tiananmen Square, on its final leg, organisers said.
  
"The different departments of the Beijing police have taken detailed precautions for the Olympic torch relay," said Sun Xuecai, one of the officials in charge of the Beijing leg.
  
"We can say we are sufficiently prepared, in every way possible. The torch relay will happen without incident, warmly and joyously," he said, without giving details of security measures taken.
  
International basketball star Yao Ming and pianist Lang Lang will be among the Beijing leg's 841 torchbearers, organisers said.
  
Only fours days before the start of Beijing Games, a suspected terrorist attack reportedly killed 16 policemen and wounded another 16 in China's northwest Xinjiang, state media reported.
  
After raising the alarm about possible Olympic terrorist attacks, China said no link had been established between the Xinjiang killings and the Games.
  
International concerns about China's Himalayan region of Tibet was one of the major rallying cries for protesters who dogged the torch's month-long global journey in April before it came to China.
  
In China, where crowds have warmly welcomed the torch, the relay has proceeded without trouble.

Date created : 2008-08-05

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