Europe

Cyprus police arrest man with knife, say unrelated to Pope visit

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Pope Francis leads Holy Mass at the GSP Stadium, in Nicosia, Cyprus, December 3, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

NICOSIA, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Police in Cyprus arrested a man carrying a knife during security screening to an outdoor stadium where Pope Francis was celebrating mass on Friday, but authorities said it appeared unrelated to the pontiff's presence on the island.

Two security sources said the knife was found during security screening for thousands seeking access to the stadium on Friday morning. Authorities had taken strict security precautions and most attendees had to be at the venue hours earlier.

"After an investigation it appears that the two are unrelated, there was no intention to do something," one source said, while a second said the knife was thought to be for personal use.

Earlier, a police official said the man concerned was a 43-year-old foreign national.

Pope Francis, on a three-day visit to Cyprus, called during Friday's mass for healing on the divided island. read more

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Reporting By Michele Kambas; editing by Janet Lawrence and Gareth Jones

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