World Cup reporters 'robbed at gunpoint'

South African police on patrol High visibility policing is part of World Cup security plans

Three foreign journalists covering the World Cup in South Africa have been robbed at gunpoint, police say.

One of them saw two robbers as they broke into their lodgings near Johannesburg in the early morning.

"One of the suspects pointed a gun at the journalist and told him to lie down," police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The reporters, two from Portugal and the other from Spain, were not injured but passports and equipment were taken.

Col Mulaudzi said the police had good leads and hoped to make an arrest soon, the South Africa Press Association reports.

Start Quote

I was the only one to wake up when the robbers came into the room”

End Quote Journalist Antonio Fimoes

"I was the only one to wake up when the robbers came into the room," Portuguese journalist Antonio Fimoes told AFP news agency.

"One of them had a pistol and pointed it at my head and told me to shut up while the other one rummaged through our things," he said.

"They got away with some money, passports, photographic material and clothing."

Police said the lodge where the journalists were staying would have to "jack up" its security.

About 350,000 people are expected to visit South Africa for the World Cup, which is being held in Africa for the first time. The tournament starts on Friday.

South Africa has mobilised thousands of specially trained police to deal with fans' safety.

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