Rio 2016 Olympics: Suspicious backpack sees fans miss Spain-Nigeria start

Suspicious backpack sees fans miss Spain-Nigeria start
By Reuters

12/08/2016 at 07:10Updated 12/08/2016 at 08:15

Fans missed the start of the men's Olympic basketball contest between Nigeria and Spain on Thursday after an unattended backpack was found in the arena, triggering a security alert and a controlled detonation of the bag.

Television images showed the players, including Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol, starting play against the backdrop of tiers of empty seats after security held back crowds from entering the arena.

The backpack was carried away by a robot and detonated, a spokesman for Rio 2016 confirmed. Detonating unattended bags has been common this Games amid concerns over security at South America's first Olympics.

A security agent said the backpack was discovered after the Brazil-Croatia game.

A tablet computer, some socks and a jacket were found inside the backpack following the detonation. The public were allowed into the arena immediately afterwards, a spokesman said.

Security has been an issue since the Games began on August 5. Swedish tourists were briefly abducted when they visited a slum, Portugal's visiting education minister was robbed at knifepoint, bullets flew into the equestrian centre and a Games bus was attacked with stones.