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No force can stop Olympic torch relay: China

The Beijing Olympic organisers vow that "no force" could stop the Games torch relay, after a wave of protests disrupted its early legs in London and Paris.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2008 02:46 IST

The Beijing Olympic organisers vowed on Tuesday that "no force" could stop the Games torch relay, after a wave of protests disrupted its early legs in London and Paris.

"The torch relay will continue its journey with the support of people all over the world," Beijing Olympic organising committee (BOCOG) spokesman Sun Weide told reporters.

"No force can stop the torch relay of the Beijing Games." Sun repeated Chinese statements of recent days expressing anger at the protests, and blamed Tibetans seeking independence for their homeland for most of the chaos.

"(We) strongly condemn the handful of protestors who were trying to sabotage the torch relay in Paris," he said.

"Tibetan separatists are not peaceful protesters but rather are trying to disrupt and sabotage the smooth running of the torch relay. What we have seen in Paris and London is another example of what these people are."

On Monday, the Olympic flame relay was cut short in Paris due to constant disruptions by hundreds of campaigners protesting over China's controversial rule of Tibet and a range of other human rights issues.

Widespread protests also disrupted the previous day's leg in London, while activists have promised more of the same in San Francisco for the next leg on Wednesday.

Exiled Tibetan leaders say more than 150 people have been killed in nearly a month of unrest in Tibet and other areas of China. Tibetans are protesting at what they say is nearly six decades of repression under Chinese rule.

China insists its security forces have killed no one while trying to quell the protests. It says Tibetan "rioters" killed 20 people.