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Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Two arrested after hoax bomb threats at World Cup draw

Fifa World Cup draw: Cape Town, Friday 4 December
Coverage: BBC Two/online from 1715 GMT, Jonathan Pearce commentating; full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website from 1200 GMT

A bomb disposal unit investigates a threat at the World Cup draw venue
A bomb disposal unit investigates a threat at the World Cup draw venue

South African police have made two arrests in connection with separate hoax bomb threats ahead of Friday's 2010 World Cup draw in Cape Town.

A man was detained early on Friday after suggesting in two hoax calls that an explosive device had been planted at Cape Town International Airport.

Police then caught a foreign journalist who claimed to have a bomb in his bag.

"These are mischief-makers who just want to disrupt the occasion," said police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo.

Security in Cape Town city centre has been tightened as the draw, which starts at about 1745 GMT, approaches.

In the earlier incident, police were able to arrest the hoax caller after tracing him to a Cape Town suburb.

"Within minutes we identified and arrested an individual who had made two hoax calls and this is an indication of the capacity we have to immediately identify these mischief-makers and bring them to book," said Naidoo.

"Every time a call like this is made, we have to treat it as a real time or live situation and deal with it accordingly."

The second threat was made at the Cape Town International Convention Centre just hours before an array of football officials, national team coaches, sports stars, celebrities and politicians were due to arrive.

Explosives experts and sniffer dogs were brought in to check a bag which, according to the journalist who dropped before running away, contained a bomb.

"There was a threat made and we resorted to our standard operational procedures by evacuating that specific area and sweeping it," said Naidoo.

"Concurrently, we conducted the investigation and arrested a foreign journalist. The area was declared safe within minutes and the item that was said to have been an explosive was not."

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

South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world but tournament organisers say the country has recruited more than 140,000 extra police, with 100,000 more in reserve.

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