Beijing Olympics: Chinese man 'kills American tourist'

Posted on 3:31 AM by Sameer Shah

A knife-wielding Chinese man has killed the relative of a coach for the U.S. Olympic men's volleyball team at a tourist site in Beijing.

Tang Yongming, 47, attacked the American man and the woman with him at the 13th century Drum Tower which lies just three miles from the main Olympics site.

Tang then committed suicide by throwing himself form the second floor of the tower.

The two other women injured in the attack were rushed to hospital.

The attack, in central Beijing, was made on a two Americans and their Chinese guide. It was still unclear whether the attack was a simple criminal assault or had a political motive.

A spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee said the attack reportedly involved relatives of an Olympic official.

The victims are reported to have been relatives of the American volleyball team coach.

Reports suggest their assailant was a man named Tang Yo Min.

Determined to portray China as a peaceful, welcoming country, the authorities have drafted in 30,000 police and soldiers to provide an all-enveloping security blanket for the Games.

However, the terrorist attack in the country’s far western Xinjiang province last week by Muslim ethnic Uighurs pushed the authorities to increase the security presence.

“We have strengthened security work in all Olympic venues and in the Olympic village. We are well-prepared in security for the upcoming Games,” said Sun Weide, spokesman for the Beijing organising committee.

About 100,000 police and soldiers were put on standby before yesterday’s opening ceremony, and security has been stepped up in the capital and across the vast country.

“The Olympic security work has entered a decisive battle stage and the situation in the struggle against hostile forces is extremely grim and complicated,” it quoted an unnamed security official as saying.

“We must transform sorrow into strength and always keep high morale in our work, which is centred on the security of the Olympics,” the official added.

Nevertheless, the security chief of Beijing’s Olympic organising committee said on Thursday that he was confident in the country’s ability to ensure safety during the Games

The Drum Tower is a 15th century wooden building once used to advertise the time of day with drums and bells.

As a Ming-era monument, it forms a key part of the Beijing tourist trail.

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