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First Climbers Scale Mount Everest Since Lifting Olympic Torch Ban


Several climbers have scaled Mount Everest for the first time since Nepal lifted a temporary climbing ban to keep protesters away from the Olympic torch relay.

Mountaineering officials in Nepal say at least 17 people reached the summit of the world's highest mountain early Wednesday. They say the group included Nepalese, Americans, Canadians and at least one British citizen.

Earlier this month, Chinese climbers carried the Olympic torch to the summit of Everest, which lies on the border of Tibet and Nepal. Nepal had banned all climbing from its side of the mountain to prevent any anti-Chinese protests during the torch ascent.

Demonstrations, mostly over China's crackdown against protests in Tibet, have taken place at several locations during the torch's five-continent journey toward Beijing.

Most climbers scale the nearly 9.000-meter-high mountain during the spring season in late May, when there is more daylight and the weather is warmer.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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