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Beijing Olympics faces terror threat

world Updated: Jul 13, 2008 20:43 IST
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Ahead of the Beijing Olympics that is expected to see the presence of about 80 world leaders at the opening ceremony, China has warned that the "dark clouds of terrorism" targetting the premier sporting event could not be ignored.

With its security apparatus in top gear as Olympics remain only a few weeks away, the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party of China, said the Beijing Olympics faced a terrorist threat "unsurpassed in Olympic history".

Observing that the international situation and the political environment was "becoming increasingly complicated by the day, and the dark clouds of terrorism on our borders are a fact that cannot be ignored", the editorial referred to the Tibet violence in March this year and the police fight with terrorist groups in the restive Xinjiang region to buttress its point.

"As the host nation, we are faced with unprecedented pressure and a huge responsibility," it said, noting that, as of now, 80 heads of state were expected to attend the Beijing Olympics starting on August 8.

Seeking to counter Western media reports that spoke of high security resulting in a "cold and cheerless Olympics", the editorial, referring to the incidents in Tibet and Xinjiang, said, "The Beijing Olympics is facing a terrorist threat unsurpassed in Olympic history."