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Minute of silence to be observed in torch relay for earthquake victims
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Organizers of the Beijing Olympic Games said Tuesday that a minute's silence will be observed during future stops of the torch relay to mourn the victims of the earthquake that hit Sichuan Province in southwestern China on Monday.

The relay is scheduled to head to Jiangxi Province Wednesday as it continues its three-month journey through China culminating in Beijing with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron on August 8 to begin the Games.

"The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Games (BOCOG), together with local provincial governments, have made a joint decision that all participants of the torch relay will observe one minute of silence at the beginning of the relay in each of the following stops," BOCOG said in a statement.

"Donation points will also be set up along the route of the relay."

On Monday, an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province, and more than 10,000 people have reportedly been killed.

Li Zhanjun, a BOCOG spokesman, said earlier Tuesday that there were no immediate plans to change the relay's route in the earthquake-devastated Sichuan province.

The torch is to be carried through seven towns and cities in Sichuan from June 15 to 18.

(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2008)

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