Olympic torch relay begins in southeastern Seoul

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Seoul, Apr 27 : The Olympic torch relay on Sunday started in Seoul amid a huge police security.

A huge cheer rang out as the relay that was accompanied by 60 track-suited police runners began. 60 more police personnel will take over at the halfway point of the 24-kilometre (15-mile) route.

Taking precautionary measures, the South Korean Government deployed at least 8,300 police personnel and anti-riot officers with two helicopters.

Around 300 protesters also gathered at Olympic Park here to stage a demonstration. One of the banners was painted with "China, stop killing North Korean refugees." "China, which does not respect human rights, is not entitled to host the Olympics. It is a shame for South Korea to tolerate the Olympic torch relay for such a country," said a demonstrator.

Human Rights Watch, a US-based rights group, has said that Seoul should use the occasion to urge Beijing to change its policy on North Korean refugees.

"The Olympics should be successful and will be successful," said a 26-year-old e-commerce student carrying a huge Chinese flag who identified himself only as Wang.

ANI

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