The state-run Chinese press on Sunday said the group of tourists had been released without charge and returned to their countries of origin after spending a week at a detention centre.

According to the Chinese police, the foreigners, who were on a 47-day trip organised by a Chinese tour operator, watched a documentary in their hotel rooms and, after some of them left, the rest "began to watch videos inciting terrorism".

The tourists were detained at the Ordos airport in China's Inner Mongolia on July 10, just before they were scheduled to depart on a flight for the next stop on their 'deluxe sight-seeing tour', Xian.

The group, comprised nine Brits, 10 South Africans and one Indian who began their trip in Hong Kong and were scheduled to finish it up in about two-and-a-half weeks in Shanghai.

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