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Olympic flame returns to Beijing
Thousands of people waving flags and coloured pom-poms gathered in Tiananmen square and the surrounding streets as the flame returned to Beijing.
7 Aug 2008
Many cheerleaders and dancers were bussed in from across the city by their places of work.
The final Beijing leg of the relay began in Tiananmen Square, the symbolic heart of the Chinese capital.
The square, the scene of a bloody government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989, was bathed in colour and excitement.
At the Beijing leg of the rally there was little sign of the pro-Tibet protests that had dogged the torch's international progress.
Despite the controversies, for many Chinese the torch relay has been a time for celebration.
Organisers provided extra security for the torch's arrival in Beijing, following an attack in China's far western province of Xinjiang that killed a number of police officers.
The Beijing relay will see some 841 torchbearers carry the flame over three days.
The relay will visit a series of Beijing landmarks before arriving at the national stadium on Friday night for the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.
The relay has been touted as a celebration of the Olympic spirit ... as well as an important marketing opportunity.
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