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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 4, 2009

Police make arrests after bomb scare

South African police arrested two people on Friday for separate hoax threats against the draw for next year's World Cup.

Explosives experts and sniffer dogs checked a bag at an entrance to Cape Town's International Convention Centre a few hours before team coaches and an array of celebrities were due to arrive for the draw, that will decide where the 32 qualifying teams will play and who their first round opponents will be.

Police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo said the entrance was closed for more than an hour, blocking entry to hundreds of journalists and other visitors, after a man who said he was a foreign reporter dropped a bag he claimed contained a bomb and ran away. He was caught and arrested, Naidoo said.

He added that another person was arrested early in the morning after making two hoax calls warning of a bomb at the city's international airport. The person was traced to a city suburb and arrested. Naidoo, who did not say whether the person was male or female, promised more details on both arrests later.

"Unfortunately we have a situation where we have mischief-makers who are trying to disrupt proceedings," Naidoo said. "It was a hoax ... but we have to react to everything."

The draw, to be presented by Oscar-winning South African actress Charlize Theron, is expected to be watched by a television audience of around 350 million people.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday the country was prepared for every security threat ahead of the World Cup, including chemical and nuclear scares. While South Africa is not seen as a major target for terrorism, it has one of the world's highest rates of violent crime.

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