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    Madonna Moscow show passes without serious incident-police

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    No serious incidents were reported during Madonna's debut concert in Moscow, which was held in unprecedented security, the city police department said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - No serious incidents were reported during Madonna's debut concert in Moscow, which was held in unprecedented security, the city police department said Wednesday.

    About 50,000 fans of the 48-year-old chart topper attended the gig in Russia after the original date on the controversial Confessions on the Dance Floor show was put one day back following a change of venue and to avoid a clash with the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy in the United States.

    "A total of 23 people were detained during the event at the Luzhniki Stadium and nearby areas. Some of them were drunk," a spokesman for the Moscow police said.

    With the capital rocked by a fatal market bombing at the end of August and religious groups criticizing the show for alleged blasphemous connotations, there was a considerable police presence.

    But the spokesman said there had been no major problems and only seven people had been detained for attempting to stage an "unsanctioned protest" outside the stadium, though he added they had been subsequently released.

    The police official said about 7,000 law enforcers were on duty for the concert, which was not sold out, with 3,500 of them at the stadium. The American pop diva told her fans it had always been her dream to perform in the Russian capital.

    Police also said Tuesday that the security measures also involved 45 dog handlers with especially trained dogs to find explosives and 45 mounted police officers, while about 600 OMON [riot police] and 300 police operatives were in reserve.

    In 2003, two suicide bombers killed 17 people at an outdoor rock concert.

    Controversy has dogged Madonna's tour in Europe as religious groups condemned a section of the pop star's show that features a song with the singer apparently being crucified on a giant cross studded with small mirrors. Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Muslim community have advised believers to stay away.

    "For an Orthodox believer there is no point of attending her [Madonna's] concerts or helping her propagate her spiritual problems via self-advertisement," Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Moscow Patriarchy's department for external relations, said in August.

    Last week Monday hundreds of Orthodox Christians gathered in central Moscow demanding the cancellation of the Madonna concert. "The pop star calling herself Madonna is abusing the Cross," Valentin Lebedev, head of the Union of Orthodox Citizens, said then.

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