Man attempts to jump into Popemobile

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A 27-year-old German man has attempted to jump into Pope Benedict XVI's open top Fiat Campagnola during today's general audience in St Peters Square.

The man was quickly apprehended by security guards and police after jumping over the metal barriers separating the vehicle from the crowd of 35,000 and landing behind the vehicle. All through the event the Pope seemed oblivious to the matter and continued with the event as normal.

The man was later questioned by Vatican police before being taken to a psychiatric department for assessment.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told BBC the man was "mentally unstable", carrying on to say, "His aim was not an attempt on the Pope's life, but to attract attention to himself." He said the man was questioned by Vatican police and taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital.

In 1981, Pope Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II was shot and seriously injured as he drove through the same square by Turkish gunman Ali Agca.

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