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China: American tourist killed in an attack on Olympic athlete’s family in Beijing

Posted by Author on August 9, 2008

Sara Hashash and Times Online, UK, Aug. 9, 2008-

A knife-wielding Chinese man attacked two relatives of a coach for the US Olympic men’s volleyball team at a tourist site in Beijing, killing one and injuring the other on the first day of the Olympics.

The incident took place on the second level of the Drum Tower, an ancient monument situated just 8km from the main Olympics site, which was used to tell time centuries ago.

The 47-year-old attacker, identified by local police as Tang Yongming from the eastern city of Hangzhou, then committed suicide by jumping from the second story of the Tower.

The attack has brought shock to the country because of the rarity of violent crime against foreigners in tightly controlled China, which has ramped up security measures even more for the Olympics.

The stabbing came only hours after what by many accounts was the most spectacular opening ceremony in Olympic history and has already dampened some of the enthusiasm.

Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the US Olympic Committee, said the volleyball team was deeply saddened and shocked and that it was “too early to say whether the US delegation or athletes will require additional security”.

Police blocked off streets leading to the Drum Tower immediately after the attack and cordoned off the area with yellow police tape. Security officers were examining the scene on the tower and below.

As yet exact details of the attack, including the weapon used, were not clear.

The episode marks the first setback for Beijing in what has otherwise been a resoundingly successful opening for the Olympic Games.

Around one billion people watched Beijing’s glittering opening ceremony on television around the world. Around 10,000 performers took part in the extravaganza which featured a dazzling spectacle of fireworks, drums and dancers.

Laura Bush, America’s first lady, who attended the ceremony alongside President Geroge W.Bush said: “It was spectacular, really unbelievable”. More than 80 world leaders and 91,000 spectators attended the event.

China sailed to an early victory winning two gold medals during on the opening day of the Olympic Games. Female weightlifter Chen Xiexia won the first medal for the host nation in the women’s 48 kg class. Her success was shortly followed by Pang Wei who triumphed in the men’s 10 metre air pistol .

Despite political controversy over China’s human rights record which has dogged the run up to the games, protestors have not derailed events so far. Activists who had wrapped themselves in Tibetan flags and lay down in Tianmen square early on Saturday morning, shouted “Freedom for Tibet!” as they were led away by plainclothes security agents.

In Hong Kong a pro-Tibet protester was removed from an equestrian event when she tried to display a Tibetan flag during the dressage.

part in the extravaganza which featured a dazzling spectacle of fireworks, drums and dancers.

Laura Bush, America’s first lady, who attended the ceremony alongside President Geroge W.Bush said: “It was spectacular, really unbelievable”. More than 80 world leaders and 91,000 spectators attended the event.

China sailed to an early victory winning two gold medals during on the opening day of the Olympic Games. Female weightlifter Chen Xiexia won the first medal for the host nation in the women’s 48 kg class. Her success was shortly followed by Pang Wei who triumphed in the men’s 10 metre air pistol .

Despite political controversy over China’s human rights record which has dogged the run up to the games, protestors have not derailed events so far. Activists who had wrapped themselves in Tibetan flags and lay down in Tianmen square early on Saturday morning, shouted “freedom for Tibet!” as they were led away by plainclothes security agents.

In Hong Kong a pro-Tibet protester was removed from an equestrian event when she tried to display a Tibetan flag during the dressage.

– The Times Online

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