Page last updated at 08:18 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 09:18 UK

In pictures: Olympic relay in Tibet

An Olympic torchbearer prepares to set out on a procession through Lhasa

The Olympic torch relay has reached its most sensitive stage, the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

Tibetan people wave Beijing Olympics flags to welcome the torch in Lhasa

Only carefully vetted volunteers were allowed onto the streets, which just months earlier were the scene of anti-Chinese riots and protests.

Tibetan performers dance in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa

The two-hour relay began at the summer residence of the Dalai Lama - the Tibetan spiritual leader now in exile in India - and finished at the Potala Palace, the traditional seat of Tibetan rulers.

A Chinese paramilitary police officer stands guard in front of a Tibetan performer

Journalists were subjected to tight security checks. A BBC correspondent says he passed through at least six checkpoints as he was driven in an official convoy to the start of the relay.

Police officers close a street ahead of the torch procession through Lhasa

Our correspondent says that on the way he saw empty streets and shuttered-up shops - suggesting that anyone without an official pass had to stay at home.

Chinese police try to block a photographer from taking pictures in Lhasa

Security was tight along the route, as China took pains to ensure the relay passed off without incident.

China stages torch relay in Tibet
21 Jun 08 |  Asia-Pacific

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