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Rio 2016: Police deploy bomb disposal unit as Olympics hit by bomb scare

Police were forced to deploy a bomb disposal unit after the Olympic opening ceremony was hit by a bomb scare.

Security staff cordoned off a large area around the Beach Volleyball Arena in Copacabana and deployed robotic bomb detection devices to check suspicious packages.

Armed police and the military were seen beginning to seal off an area of Avenida Atlantica, which runs in front of Copacabana beach, where the 12,000 capacity temporary beach volleyball venue is erected, at around 2040 local time.

The robotic bomb detection devices were deployed around 10 minutes later and examined what appeared to be a black bag and a red rucksack.

Half an hour later a member of the bomb disposal team was seen examining the packages with the cordon still in place.

By around 9.40pm local time it seemed that the military was satisfied that any danger had passed as the cordon was removed and the bomb disposal unit began to pack away the robotic devices.

Earlier, thousands of anti-government protesters marched along Rio’s Copacabana in opposition to Michel Temer, a 75-year-old law professor who became acting president after the Senate voted in favour of launching an impeachment trial against Rousseff, suspending her.

One of the posters amid the protests, translated, read: ‘Out Temer! The people should decide’, while a bin with a spray-painted stencil had the words ‘stop coup in Brazil’.

The pre-ceremony protest followed ugly scenes on Thursday that marred the Olympic torch’s arrival in the Brazilian city.

Against a backdrop of civil and political unrest in the country, hundreds of people turned out to challenge the torch’s arrival in Rio out of anger over the cost of hosting the Games.

More than 80,000 police and security staff are being used in Rio double the amount used for the London Olympics in 2012.


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