Buenos Aires, April 13: The Olympic torch was on its way to the East African nation of Tanzania Saturday after passing through the Argentine capital under tight security in a relay free of the scuffles that marred earlier similar events in other countries.
More than 2,500 police and other security personnel lined the 13-kilometer (eight-mile) course in the Argentine capital as the flame was carried through the city Friday to keep at bay the few demonstrators denouncing China's crackdown in Tibet ahead of this summer's Games in Beijing. Few incidents were seen or reported by the police, the most serious being an attempt by two protesters to douse the torch with water bombs. They were hustled away by police but let go after an identity check. A champion Argentine windsurfer, Carlos Espinola, kicked off the run from the city's port under cloudy skies.
He was a last-minute replacement for soccer legend Diego Maradona who failed to return in time from Mexico as tentatively scheduled.
Thousands of people congregated in the central Plaza de Mayo, in front of the government's Rose House, to cheer the torch, which at one point was also briefly put on a boat and rowed along the city's River Plate.