BEIJING: China, which wants to stamp out any potential threats to its carefully choreographed National Day celebrations in Tiananmen Square on October 1, has taken aim at some pesky foes -- bugs and rats.
Beijing has launched a broad security crackdown to prevent attackers or dissidents from disrupting the festivities, but Xinhua news agency said it has also targeted pests such as "mosquitoes, flies, rats and cockroaches".
The campaign is aimed at ensuring that dignitaries and other participants in the 60th National Day celebrations are "free from epidemics and bites", it said.
Officials have launched a series of nighttime "extermination sweeps" at the square and the adjacent Forbidden City imperial palace and Mao Zedong mausoleum, it quoted Zeng Xiaofan, an official in charge of the programme, as saying.
"Rats could eat electric cables and mosquitoes could bite and annoy people gathering in the square on October 1 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of (Communist) China," Zeng was quoted saying.
China is planning a huge military parade and mass pageant in and around Tiananmen Square on October 1.