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China supporters outnumber protestors at Hong Kong torch relay

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Anti-China protestors complained of being threatened and jostled by crowds of pro-Beijing supporters cheering the first leg of the Chinese Olympic torch relay in Hong Kong on Friday.
HONG KONG, May 2 (RIA Novosti) - Anti-China protestors complained of being threatened and jostled by crowds of pro-Beijing supporters cheering the first leg of the Chinese Olympic torch relay in Hong Kong on Friday.

Amid tight security and a heavy police presence pro-Tibetan protesters were heckled by Olympic supporters, and around 20 protesters of them were detained by police in the former British colony.

Demonstrators were protesting a recent government crackdown against anti-Chinese protesters in Tibet that according to Tibetan-exiles allegedly left 203 civilians dead. China's government puts the death toll at 19.

The international relay for the August 8-24 Beijing Olympic Games has so far passed through 20 cities around the world, and has been dogged by demonstrations against China's crackdown on the Tibetan pro-independence movement in a number of cities, including Athens, London, Paris and San Francisco.

The ceremony started at 10:30 a.m. local time on Friday. Around 120 torchbearers are participating in the 26-kilometer relay, which is due to arrive in Macau later Friday and is expected to pass over Mount Everest during its three-month tour of China before arriving in Beijing for the start of the games.

A group of 50 climbers later plan to take the Olympic flame up Mount Everest to the summit of the world's tallest peak at 29,028 feet (8,848 meters), local TV reported.

The torch will travel across China in the next three months, before making its way to Beijing for the start of the Games in August.

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