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Chaotic Olympic torch relay called off in Paris

April 7, 2008

Chinese officials called off a chaotic relay of the Olympic torch through Paris on Monday after thousands of pro-Tibet protesters tried to block its path and the flame had to be extinguished at least twice.

Police said the Chinese authorities organising the five-hour passage of the torch had decided to give up the road relay after demonstrators protesting against China's crackdown on Tibet constantly snarled its progress and forced lengthy delays.

The torch relay hit trouble almost as soon as it set off from the Eiffel Tower, and regularly ground to halt when protesters threatened to break through the imposing security cordon thrown around the athletes carrying the flame.

Image: French 1997 World 400m hurdles champion and current European record holder Stephane Diagana holds aloft the Olympic flame.

Photographs: Getty Images | Text: Reuters

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