Posted: Friday March 9, 2012 5:12 PM

UK police practice torch relay

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LONDON (AP) - London's police staged a mock run Friday to show off their skills in dealing with anyone who might want to disrupt the Olympic torch relay.

A team of 28 unarmed London officers will guard the Olympic flame as it travels around Britain, and police will make sure they prevent the attention seekers from "trying to grab a bit of the glory,'' Commander Bob Broadhurst said.

Police are not expecting huge high-profile protests that marred earlier relays, such as the ones before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Instead, they say people simply seeking attention will try to disrupt the 70-day relay that ends with the opening ceremony at London's Olympic Stadium on July 27.

"I personally don't think they'll be serious trouble ... But we of course need to plan for the worst,'' Broadhurst said.

The Olympic flame will arrive from Greece on May 18, kicking off an 8,000-mile (12,875-kilometer) relay across the U.K. and Ireland involving 8,000 torchbearers.

The International Olympic Committee ruled that relays should take place only within the host countries after repeated human rights protests marred the international torch relay before the 2008 Beijing Games.

 
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