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Brazil began deploying some 30,000 troops Saturday to secure its borders as it prepares to host the World Cup that kicks off next month.
Brazil Deploys 30,000 Troops to Secure Borders Ahead of World Cup
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MAY 04:  A military police officer keeps watch before a match between Fl...

Brazil began deploying some 30,000 troops Saturday to secure its borders as it prepares to host the World Cup that kicks off next month.

The operation involving the army, navy and air force will extend over the 16,900-kilometer (10,500-mile) frontier separating the South American giant from its 10 neighbors.

The internationally coordinated effort is part of a strategic border security plan announced by President Dilma Rousseff in June 2011.

"It is the single largest mobilization carried out by the state to combat illegal activity from the north to the south of the country," the government said in a statement.

A similar security operation took place ahead of last year's Confederations Cup, widely regarded as a test run for the World Cup extravaganza that will see football matches held in 12 cities.

That two-week operation netted nearly 19 tonnes of drugs, along with weapons and explosives.

The latest operation will target crimes including drug and arms trafficking, as well as illegal immigration. It will also provide medical care for needy communities.

It will span 710 cities and cover a distance of 110 kilometers from the borders, where security will be stepped up at crossings. Rivers and lakes will also be patrolled.

Globo television showed images of authorities inspecting vehicles, including trucks and passenger buses.

Along Brazil's border with Argentina, the troop deployment began at midnight, with checkpoints set up near the Uruguaiana International Bridge that links the two countries over the Uruguay River.

The Defense Ministry has not specified how long the operation will last for strategic reasons, with a spokesman telling AFP the military didn't want to "give advance warning to criminals."

Officials declined to confirm reports that a similar security operation could be carried out during the actual FIFA tournament, which runs from June 12 to July 13.

Brazil expects to welcome more than 600,000 foreign tourists for the massive sporting event, and is anticipating the internal displacement of more than three million locals.

Brazil shares borders with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

More than half of the border zones pass through rivers, lakes and other waterways.

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6 hrs. ago

M'Baye Niang put the nightmare of the Paris terror attacks firmly behind him with two goals and an assist as AC Milan crushed a sorry Sampdoria 4-1 at the San Siro on Saturday.

Niang admitted last week the events of the past fortnight had left him worried for the safety of family and friends in and around the French capital.

But the 20-year-old from the Paris suburbs produced a confident performance for the Rossoneri, first delivering for Giacomo Bonaventura's opener on 16 minutes and then beating Emiliano Viviano from the spot after the Milan winger had been hauled down in the area seven minutes before the interval.

Niang secured Milan's seventh win of the campaign when he fired under Viviano four minutes after the restart after the 'keeper's fluffed clearance.

When he was replaced by Luiz Adriano 15 minutes from the whistle it took the Brazilian just four minutes to find the net after volleying Alessio Cerci's intelligent cross past Viviano.

The only blot on Milan's copybook was Gianluigi Donnarumma's failure to stop Luis Muriel from the spot after Andrea Pioli had tugged on Eder in the area in the closing minutes.

Milan moved up to fifth place at seven points behind leaders Inter ahead of the remainder of the weekend matches, with Sampdoria's second successive defeat under new coach Vincenzo Montella leaving them 14 points adrift.

"It was an almost perfect performance," said Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who gave a special mention to Niang.

"He's a big player for us, he was doing really well in pre-season then he got injured. Now he's back in form and he's doing well, but he already showed at Genoa (loan) what he was made of."

For the fifth consecutive match Mihajlovic opted for teenage goalkeeper Donnarumma over the more experienced Diego Lopez but the 16-year-old had to dive low to parry after his messy clearance fell to Roberto 

Soriano 30 yards out in the opening minute.

From then on, it was all Milan with Niang the main protagonist before making way for Adriano on 74 minutes.

Having spent the last half of last season on loan at Genoa, the striker said he in enjoying playing in a pure 

striker's role under Mihajlovic.

"I'm really happy because I've been waiting for this for a longtime, the hard work's paying off and I hope it continues like this," said Niang.

"I played as a centre-forward, the position I prefer and I think that along with our win over Lazio this was our best display this season."

Milan broke the deadlock on 16 minutes with Alessio Cerci, whose eighth minute goal was ruled offside, involved before Niang burst down the right to fire in a weighted delivery that Bonaventura slid in to meet at the back post.

Milan built on their momentum and Niang almost doubled the lead when he collected Juraj Kucka's short delivery on the right to drag his angled shot inches wide of Viviano's far post.

Sampdoria were struggling to find any rhythm and Milan's movement in the final third of the pitch was causing huge problems for the visitors.

Niang left Edgar Barreto behind to burst down the right and fire across the bows, but Bonaventura's first-timer from the six-yard line blasted over.

Samp's only real chance came when Luis Muriel dribbled his way into the area but despite turning Milan's defence his promising strike was blocked by Alessio Romagnoli.

Niang came close twice with flicks that inched wide of Viviano's post just after the restart.

But when the 'keeper fluffed a clearance, Niang collected and strode confidently into the area to fire under his body and secure the second brace of his Serie A career, after hitting a double for Genoa against Verona last season.

A tiring Niang soon made way for Adriano and only four minutes later Cerci was given time and space to the right of the area to pick out the Brazilian with a pinpoint pass which he controlled before firing past a helpless Viviano.

Earlier, Torino moved up to seventh place with a 2-0 home win over Bologna thanks to second-half goals from Andrea Belotti and Giuseppe Vives.