06/10/2008, 00.00
CHINA
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Fireworks banned in Beijing during Olympics

The government bans fireworks and traditional firecrackers in the latest attempt to prevent threats to national security. Restrictions are imposed on potentially risky public transit and gas stations.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Fireworks will be banned across the Chinese capital for three months in order to guarantee by any means security during the August Beijing Olympics. The government decision, which was confirmed by state-run media, will thus eliminate any potential threat by dissidents, farmers, ethnic groups and religious minorities.

The firework ban will last from July 1 to October 8 and will cover areas beyond the Fifth Ring Road, state-run China Daily reported. Starting from the walls of Beijing’s Forbidden City, the city is surrounded by roads that divide it in rings.

The sale of firecrackers, which most Chinese traditionally set off for propitiatory purposes, will also be prohibited and all stocks will be stored in warehouses specially designated by the city's safety administration,

Public transport will also be subject to stringent security checks by the city administration.

All liquids, matches and lighters which had been allowed in hand luggage on domestic flights have been banned by the central government.

Last but not least, gas stations within 300 metres of Olympic venues and all Games-designated gas stations would have to install video surveillance equipment and “explosion-prevention devices,” said Zhang Jiaming, head of the Beijing Work Safety Administration.

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