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More than 1,700 arrested in Asian Games sweep

other Updated: Nov 18, 2010 11:41 IST
AFP
asian games

More than 1,700 people have been arrested in a massive security operation surrounding the Asian Games, police said Thursday, but no major incidents had occurred.

As of Tuesday, traffic security personnel had inspected over 2.7 million vehicles and more than 5.3 million passengers, leading to the arrest of 1,740 people, said He Guangping, a senior Guangdong police official said.

He did not say what charges they faced.

Hu Zejun, deputy director of Asian Games security, told a press conference that regular assessments of potential terrorist risks were ongoing.

"The Guangdong public security departments are confident and we have the capability to crackdown on all terrorist attacks," he said.

As "terrorist actions and violent attacks seriously run counter to the Olympic spirit... we installed a risk management system before the Games and we are undergoing regular assessments of terrorist risks."

Authorities have set up a "security firewall" around the city with hundreds of checkpoints manned by 438,000 security personnel, said He.

More than 100,000 police officers were on the streets during the November 12 opening ceremony, while 117,000 manned the torch relay ahead of the Games, he added.

"We are proud that with all the time and efforts we spent ... the first stage of the Asian Games security work has ended without any reports of major security incidents," He said.

Police are hoping to avoid any repeat of events seen in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, including the fatal stabbing of a US Olympic coach's relative by a Chinese man and deadly attacks in the west of the country blamed on Muslim militants.

The sweeping Asian Games security operation has cost tens of millions of dollars for the Asiad, including counter-terrorist and hostage rescue drills, media reports said.

He acknowledged that the security crackdown, including traffic restrictions aimed at getting over a million cars off the road, had brought numerous inconveniences to Guangzhou's 10 million residents.

But He denied that the strict police measures were behind low attendances at the Games, which run until November 27.