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The Associated Press reports China has detained 82 suspected terrorists in the first half of the year for allegedly plotting attacks against the Games, said state media Thursday.

Police arrested suspects in raids on five separate terrorist rings in the traditionally Muslim Xinjiang region of China’s far west, according to police chief Chen Zhuangwei, who was quoted in newspapers and the official Xinhua News Agency.

Chen told a news conference Wednesday, “all officers recommit themselves to stepping up the fight against terrorism. We must perfect the emergency response and command system, solidly carry out Olympic security work, and ensure security in the regional capital”.

Beijing organizers reportedly held a secret but “apparently successful” first full dress rehearsal for the Games Opening Ceremony. There was tight security Thursday night at the National Stadium. Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Games told AFP, “a dress rehearsal took place last night and it was very successful".

Late on Thursday AFP reports the stadium was ringed by paramilitary policy carrying automatic weapons, according to CCTV.

Wang Chaoge, a director for the ceremony, said the performance would include a tribute to victims of the My 12 earthquake in southwest China.

At a press conference in March filmmaker Zhang Yimou, the director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies said that if it rained, parts of the show, including aerial displays, would be cancelled in the interests of safety.

Meanwhile canines will be given a break during the Games. Beijing has called on local hotels and restaurants to stop serving dog meat as part of a drive by the city to present its best possible face at the event.

There are concerns among senior officials that the sight of roast or stewed dog might offend visitors from western nations.

Beijing’s catering industry association was told to “advocate” to its members that they “suspend use of dog meat dishes during the Olympic period”.

Hotels and restaurants playing a direct role in preparations for the Games were especially targeted by other government departments, as were those in “key control areas” such as along the routes to be used by the Olympic torch relay. Write or read comments about this article

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