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Scare as man tries to board popemobile

Story Highlights

• Man vaults security barriers and tries to climb onboard popemobile in Vatican City
• Security guards wrestle the man to the ground and arrest him
• Pontiff seemingly unaware of the incident, carries on waving and smiling
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ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Vatican police have detained a man who tried to jump into the back of the open-air vehicle carrying Pope Benedict XVI to his weekly address in St. Peter's Square.

The man, aged between 20 and 30, was not armed and the pope's life was never in danger, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN. It is not clear if he will be charged.

Video showed the man, wearing a red t-shirt, dark shorts, a baseball cap and sunglasses, launch himself over a crowd of people waving flags and holding banners on the side of the street as the popemobile passed by.

The man then jumped over the barricade and seemed to touch the back of the vehicle before at least six men in dark suits wrestled him to the ground. (Watch the pope's security guards wrestle the man to the ground Video)

The pontiff continued waving and did not look behind him where the incident took place.

After being questioned by Vatican police, the man will be handed over to Italian police for further questioning.

Every Wednesday, the pope gives an address, or general audience, to crowds who gather in St. Peter's Square.

Although it was quickly over, the incident recalled the attempt on the life of Benedict's predecessor John Paul II on May 13, 1981, also in St. Peter's Square.

Turkish assailant Ali Agca shot and seriously wounded the Polish pope as he was leaving the square following a general audience.

CNN's Alessio Vinci says people entering the square are screened with metal detectors. "There are thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people in the square, so security screening can be difficult."


The man was wrestled to the ground by men in dark suits.



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