Police in Hong Kong yesterday announced they had set up protest zones near the Sha Tin and Beas River venues for the Olympic equestrian events. The sites, officially called 'social gathering areas', are about 300 metres from the venues. The site in Sha Tin is along the Shing Mun River, near the Sha Tin Rowing Centre; the zone near the Beas River three-day eventing course is outside North District Hospital in Po Kin Road, Sheung Shui. A police spokeswoman said the locations were preliminary and they might be changed according to the scale of protests or traffic conditions on the day. 'So far, the police have not been notified of any social gatherings during the Olympic equestrian events,' she said. Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said applications to stage protests at the equestrian events would be handled according to the usual practice as long as they were legal and would be peaceful. He said there was no need to step up security checks in Hong Kong, as police considered the risk of terrorism at the equestrian events next month to be moderate. He said two fatal bus bombings in Kunming on Monday had not increased the risk of terrorism and there was no evidence to suggest any link between the attacks and the Games equestrian events. 'Our security level is moderate. I don't think we need to introduce any security checks for public transport,' he said in response to the stepping up of security checks in Beijing for the Olympic Games. The chief secretary made the comments as he inspected facilities at the airport for handling the arrival and departure of equestrian competitors' horses. Fourteen temporary stables have been set up at the airport to house horses deemed unfit for transport to the stables in Sha Tin following their arrival. The first batch of 32 horses will be flown in on Saturday.