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January 02, 2008
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Beijing police put sniffer dogs on subway in preparation for the Olympics

The Associated Press

BEIJING — Dogs that can detect fireworks and other explosive substances have started making regular checks at Beijing's subway stations ahead of the Olympics, state media reported Wednesday.

Xinhua News Agency quoted Wang Ning of the detection detachment of the Beijing Traffic Police as saying the patrols will give the dogs experience for the Aug. 8-24 Olympics.

"The police dogs have been trained to be comfortable with the crowded environments and slippery surfaces of subway stations," Wang said.

Eight dogs were patrolling five subway stations, including ones close to Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, he said. Up to 2.9 million people ride the subway daily.

"More dogs will join the patrols later," he was quoted as saying.

A man from the Beijing police information office, who gave only his surname Zhao, confirmed that the dogs had started the patrols, but declined to answer questions.

Xinhua said firecrackers and flammable products such as oil-based paints are often seized by police on public transportation. That usually increases around the Chinese New Year holiday period, which starts Feb. 6.

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