Olympic flame...Δύο φορές έσβησε η Φλόγα στο Παρίσι...

Olympic flame forced on to bus in Paris: reports

Posted 1 hour 9 minutes ago
Updated 41 minutes ago

The Olympic flame is surrounded by security in Paris

Heavy security surrounded the torch as it started its journey through Paris. (AFP Photo: Olivier Laban-Mattei)

The Beijing Olympics torch has reportedly been placed on a bus for safety twice after its relay across Paris was interrupted by pro-Tibet protesters.

The flame was twice placed on a bus for safety amid pro-Tibet protests, journalists at the scene said. Paris police officials said the flame was extinguished for safety reasons on each occasion.

At least five people were arrested as they attempted to block the torch's planned relay route through the city.

French police earlier had to push back pro-Tibet activists trying to reach the foot of the Eiffel Tower, as the Olympic flame began its high-security relay across the French capital.

Police were asking protesters carrying Tibetan flags to either put them away or leave the sector, as the flame set off on the 28-kilometre route protected by thousands of police to a stadium in the south of the capital.

Protesters carrying French and Chinese flags were allowed to stay.

Officers pushed back several pro-Tibet protestors who were trying to reach the area from Human Rights Square across the River Seine, where hundreds of activists were holding an organised protest.

A policeman at the nearby Quai Branly ripped a flag bearing the slogan of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom group from the hands of a Vietnamese protester.

Earlier at the square, some of the protesters on the square shouted abuse at a man carrying a Chinese flag and tried to snatch it from him. But plain clothes police officers quickly intervened.

Activists have promised a day of "spectacular" protests despite the top security police are providing for the torch, whose relay Sunday across London was disrupted several times by protesters.

The flame arrived in France late Sunday after a chaotic stop in the British capital, where police battled to keep pro-Tibet protesters away from the torchbearers and made 37 arrests.

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