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Brazil beefs up security for World Cup draw

Updated: 2013-12-05 10:33
( Xinhua)

COSTA DO SAUIPE - A posse of more than 3,600 armed guards will be deployed to guarantee security during Friday's FIFA World Cup draw, local media has reported.

The combined force includes Brazilian army troops, police, municipal guards and agents from Brazil's federal intelligence service, Abin, according to Estado de S.Paulo.

Counter-terror troops as well as air force and navy units will also patrol the area surrounding the Costa do Sauipe luxury resort on Brazil's northeast coast.

"FIFA, the justice ministry and the Bahia government have mounted a war plan to protect the World Cup draw," the newspaper said, citing local officials.

The event is expected to attract 4,800 accredited guests, meaning there will be three guards for every four invitees.

The adjacent city of Salvador was home to violent protests amid nationwide social unrest during the Confederations Cup in June.

Incidents included the stoning of a FIFA bus and an attempt by demonstrators to invade a hotel accommodating the organization's officials.

Brazil's Bahia state government vowed law enforcement authorities would be on high alert during Friday's event.

"We are going to repeat the enforcement model used during the Confederations Cup, assuring the delegations, journalists and others present a rapid response if necessary," Bahia's security secretary Mauricio Teles Barbosa said.

Local officials fear protesters could interrupt the draw by blocking the only road linking Costa do Sauipe to Salvador.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter earlier admitted security had been a major point discussed during a meeting with the local World Cup organizing committee.