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Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Olympic torch now in Northern Ireland

The Olympic torch has arrived in Northern Ireland for a five-day tour that includes a visit to the Republic of Ireland capital, Dublin, and heightened security to ensure Irish Republican Army factions don't spoil the celebrations.

The Protestant and Catholic leaders of Northern Ireland's unity government welcomed Olympic officials as the flame landed Saturday at Belfast City Airport via the Isle of Man. The flame spent the past two weeks traveling through England and Wales.

A senior Belfast police officer says security will be heightened throughout the torch's stay in Northern Ireland. The torch run through 60 towns and villages coincides with Queen Elizabeth's 60th anniversary on the British throne, an event celebrated by the Protestant majority. The officer says IRA splinter groups would like to disrupt both events.

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