Nepal posts soldiers, police on Everest to stop Olympic torch protests

Nepalese soldiers and police with orders to shoot if necessary are guarding the slopes of Mount Everest to stop any protests by Tibetans during China's planned Olympic torch run to the summit, officials said Sunday. The 25 soldiers and policemen have already established several camps on the mountain, Nepal's Home Ministry spokesman Modraj Dotel said, adding that more troops could be sent if needed. "They have been given orders to stop any protest on the mountain using whatever means necessary, including use of weapons," Dotel said, adding that any protesters would be arrested and shooting would be the last option. Chinese climbers plan to take the Olympic torch to the summit of Everest - the world's highest peak _ in the first few days of May. During that time, other climbers will be banned from the mountain's higher elevations.