Airport security on high alert for pope's inauguration

High-ranking figures arrive from across the globe

Airport security on high alert for pope's inauguration

Rome, March 18 - Security in Rome's airports and throughout the city is on high alert as high-profile figures from around the world begin arriving for Tuesday's inauguration of Pope Francis. At Fiumicino airport alone, more than 80 heads of state, ministers, ambassadors and religious figures are expected to arrive between 7am and 11pm on Monday, Italy's national civil aviation agency Enac said. Among those slated to arrive in the country's capital is the controversial leader of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, defying an EU travel ban. East Timor President Taur Matan Ruak and Taiwan President Ying Jeou Ma arrived Monday morning, along with Uruguay leader Danilo Astori and US Senator Cris Smith, while US Vice President Joe Biden arrived on Sunday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Jose' Manuel Barroso, and King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium are to arrive at Rome's second airport Ciampino.

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