Olympic Torch Arrives In China’s Earthquake Disaster Zone

MIANYANG, China — The people of China are already feeling the Olympic spirit Monday, after the torch was paraded around a stadium that only weeks ago was filled with earthquake survivors.

Some 3,000 hand-picked spectators sang and cheered. Confetti was sprayed into the air as the torch relay began.

The hour-long ceremony was filled with emotion. A minute’s silence was observed to honor the dead from the quake, and a montage of disaster scenes were shown on two giant television screens. The magnitude-7.9 earthquake killed tens of thousands and left millions homeless

Rousing orchestral music played as dozens of performers recreated an earthquake rescue. The crowd roared, “No difficulty can beat the spirit of Chinese people.”

It was the third stop for the flame in Sichuan province.

Meantime, there’s been a deadly attack on police in a border region of China.

The state-run Xinhua (shin-wah) News Agency reports two men rammed a dump truck into a group of jogging police officers Monday. The men jumped out, tossed home-made explosives into the officers’ barracks and hacked police with knives.

Xinhua reports 16 officers are dead and an equal number have been wounded in the troubled Central Asian border province. Local Muslims have waged a sporadically violent rebellion there.

Xinhua, citing local police, calls it a “suspected terrorist attack.”

Police arrested the two attackers.

The upcoming Olympics have put security forces nationwide on alert and at least one militant Muslim group has vowed to try to disrupt the games.