Spanish police have arrested a Mexican chemistry student for allegedly plotting to gas anti-Pope protesters at Madrid’s Catholic youth festival.

The suspect planned to attack a march with “asphyxiating gases and other chemical substances”, police said.

At least a million people from across the world are in Madrid for a six-day Catholic youth festival.

With Pope Benedict XVI arriving on Thursday, the cost of the event has drawn protests from some.

Demonstrations called for Wednesday evening are due to feature both sections of the 15-M “indignant” movement protesting against the government’s austerity drive, and gay rights groups and others campaigning against aspects of Catholic teaching.

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