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Pope Arrives In Spain For Catholic Youth Event

Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with pilgrims after celebrating a mass in Rome on August 15.
Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Madrid for a four-day visit to attend the Catholic World Youth Day festival.

Spanish authorities said a million pilgrims are expected to gather in Madrid for the event which will culminate in a mass celebrated by the pope at an airbase southwest of the capital on August 21.

The pope's visit, which comes as Spain is battling a severe economic crisis, has also sparked criticism over its cost, which is estimated at a minimum of 50 million euros ($70 million).

On Wednesday, eleven people, including two police officers were lightly injured as riot police tried to prevent demonstrators from clashing with Catholic pilgrims.

compiled from agency reports