PARIS, April 7 -- Protesters temporarily halted the Olympic torch relay in Paris Monday, forcing officials to extinguish the flame at least three times and carry it inside a bus for safety, despite a massive deployment of 3,000 police across the heart of the city.
The heavy security presence transformed the torch relay from a joyous celebration of the Olympics into a tense confrontation between police and demonstrators protesting China's crackdown on Tibet last month and its human rights record.
Authorities turned the flame low or extinguished it and put it inside a bus following just behind the athletes. It remained inside the bus about five or six minutes before an athlete in a wheelchair was allowed to continue the relay.
But the relay team struggled at a slow pace as it followed the banks of the Seine and looped back toward the Trocadero across the river from the Eiffel Tower, where pro-Tibet demonstrators pelted the torch bearer -- a wheelchair-bound ping pong player -- and his assistants with bottles of juice, fruit and other projectiles. The flame appeared to go out as the athlete struggled through the melee and was forced once again to retreat with the torch to the safety of a bus. The torch went out at least two other times, although it was unclear whether protesters doused it or organizers put it out when retreating to the safety of buses.
source: washington post.com