Arrests as Olympic torch arrives in Australia
CANBERRA (AFP) - Two people were arrested as the Olympic flame arrived in Australia on Wednesday for the latest leg of a troubled global torch relay which has been beset by anti-China protests.
A chartered airliner carrying the flame touched down under tight security at a military airfield in the capital Canberra after a six-hour flight from Jakarta and was met by Australian and Chinese officials.
There were no incidents at the tightly guarded airfield, but police said a man and a woman were arrested in Sydney while trying to display a banner on the iconic Harbour Bridge as the aircraft approached Canberra.
The flame has become the focus of international demonstrations against China's role in Tibet and the Olympic host's human rights record.
"Two people, a man and a woman, were detained by security officers as they tried to unfurl a banner on the bridge," a police spokeswoman told AFP, adding that they faced a small fine for doing so without a permit.
Local media reported that the pair had planned to unveil a Tibetan flag, but the spokeswoman said she could not confirm that.