The Olympic torch was extinguished as many as five times today as it made its way from the Eiffel Tower on its 28 km run around Paris, France. The Olympic flame which has been lit from the birthplace of the ancient games in Olympia, Greece symbolizes the passing on of the games from one country to another.
The torch has been said to have been extinguished by security officials themselves. Indeed faced with thousands of protesters brandishing posters and banners the flame had to be taken on a bus to be protected. Very shortly afterwards the police admitted to having extinguished the flame "for secuirty reasons".
There have been numerous protests against China hosting the games and this in light of recent crackdowns in Tibet by chinese officials against prtoesters (most of them tibetan monks) calling for democratic freedoms and self rule. Although protests had been raging in London the flame had not been previously extinguished.
It should be noted though that officials made it clear that altough the Olympic flame itself was extinguished while on a bus the flame was kept alive in a small lantern…