Rio de Janeiro

Pope rests after chaotic arrival in Brazil

Thousands welcomes Francis to Rio for week-long WYD visit

Pope rests after chaotic arrival in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, July 23 - Pope Francis is set to have a day of rest on Tuesday after he was welcomed by thousands in emotional and sometimes chaotic scenes following his arrival in Rio de Janeiro on Monday. The pope has travelled to Brazil in his first overseas visit since being elected head of the Catholic Church in March for a week-long visit for World Youth Day (WYD). The car taking Francis from the airport to a ceremony with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the state governor's palace got stuck in traffic after the driver apparently took a wrong turn and missed the lane that had been cleared for Francis. The vehicle was mobbed by big crowds trying to greet the pope and security officials had trouble keeping people back so Francis could continue his journey. The pope, however, remained unperturbed, waving, shaking hands and embracing children, first from an open window of the car and then from a pope-mobile devoid of protective screens. The arrival was marred by clashes between protestors and police after the ceremony at the governor's palace. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters, who are angry at alleged government corruption and the cost of the pope's visit. One policeman was badly burned by a Molotov cocktail in the clashes, while AFP reported that a Japanese photographer working for it had been injured after being hit in the head by a police baton. Six protestors have been detained.

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