02 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 6, 1435

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets during clashes with demonstrators on Monday near the Rio de Janeiro state governor's mansion shortly after Pope Francis spoke there after meeting with President Dilma Rousseff and other government officials.

The Pope arrived to Rio de Janeiro earlier in the day amid heightened security with concerns there could be a repeat of the mass, and sometimes violent, demonstrations that plagued several Brazilian cities last month.

The government has deployed more than 20,000 soldiers, police and security officials for the papal visit.

While some of the measures are routine security provided for any visiting head of state, they are compounded by the popular draw of the Pope, especially because Pope Francis has said he plans to travel around the city in an open-top vehicle and occasionally mix with the throngs expected to turn out to welcome him.

The visit comes amid growing economic and social dissatisfaction in Brazil, which is home to more than 120 million Catholics. — Text by Reuters

Pope Francis greets the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
Pope Francis greets the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
Pope Francis greets the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
Pope Francis greets the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
Pope Francis kisses a baby while greeting a crowd of the faithful from his Popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
Pope Francis kisses a baby while greeting a crowd of the faithful from his Popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
Pope Francis delivers a speech during a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival at the Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
Pope Francis delivers a speech during a welcoming ceremony upon his arrival at the Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
Riot police keep demonstrators from approaching Guanabara Palace where Pope Francis met with President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
Riot police keep demonstrators from approaching Guanabara Palace where Pope Francis met with President Dilma Rousseff in Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
Protesters burn a puppet that symbolizes Rio de Janeiro State Governor Sergio Cabral during a demonstration near Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. — AP Photo
Protesters burn a puppet that symbolizes Rio de Janeiro State Governor Sergio Cabral during a demonstration near Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. — AP Photo
Night view of the Basilica and National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida, in Aparecida, 170 km east of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 22, 2013. — AFP Photo
Night view of the Basilica and National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida, in Aparecida, 170 km east of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 22, 2013. — AFP Photo

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