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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
TV show breaches fortress Sydney
Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph carrying a front page picture of a TV crew member dressed as Osama bin Laden - 07/09/07
Sydney's breach of security has made headlines in Australia
Members of an Australian television comedy show have been arrested and charged after breaching the tightest security the city has ever seen.

The team from the satirical show The Chaser's War on Everything were stopped within yards of the hotel where US President George W Bush was staying.

The stunt was reportedly only revealed when one of the team, dressed as Osama Bin Laden, got out of the car.

Police handling security for the Apec summit called it a "dangerous stunt".

"We have snipers deployed around the city. They weren't there for show, they mean business, that's what they are there for," Commissioner Andrew Scipione of New South Wales police said.

The sham motorcade involved three large cars and two motorcycles carrying Canadian flags.

Protesters in Sydney

They were waved through two police checkpoints on what was one of the busiest days for the city's security forces, as world leaders arrived for this weekend's summit.

Police only moved in when one of the crew emerged from the car wearing a long fake beard and robes, close to the InterContinental Hotel where President Bush is staying.

All 11 members of the crew have been bailed after being charged with entering a secure area. Police are said to be considering further charges.

Makers of the programme, which is broadcast on ABC, said they had never intended to enter the Apec restricted zone in central Sydney.

The crew believed they had been given permission by police to proceed as far as they did, and voluntarily turned round when they thought they were about to enter the restricted area, the makers said in a statement on the ABC website.

Sydney has seen the biggest security operation ever mounted by Australia ahead of the meeting of 21 leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum.

A 5km (three-mile) barrier has been erected across the central business district and more than 5,000 police and troops are patrolling the streets.


Police apprehend the comedians

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01 Sep 07 |  Asia-Pacific


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