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Armed, masked role players on a rooftop arrested

Four masked men who were role-playing with fake assault rifles on a villa rooftop have been arrested.

ABU DHABI // Four masked men role-playing on a villa rooftop with fake assault rifles, pistols and knives found themselves facing the real thing - police special forces there to arrest them.

The men were dressed in camouflage outfits that looked like police uniforms, and were simulating fighting tactics on the rooftop in a compound next to a government building.

They were wearing bullet-proof vests and wielding plastic and metal clubs, and videotaping the game, said Col Ibrahim Sultan Al Zaabi, chief of Al Shaabiya police station in Abu Dhabi.

A neighbour reported suspicious behaviour on the rooftop and the men, three of whom were engineers, were in custody shortly afterwards. Police obtained a warrant and special forces raided the villa to apprehend the men "firmly and quickly", Col Al Zaabi said.

Col Al Zaabi described the men's behaviour as "absurd, childish, and unjustifiable".

He said an increase in the popularity of violent computer games had encouraged a culture of violence among children, and called for a ban on their import, as well as on the sale of fake weapons and firecrackers.

Society should encourage games that promoted children's creative abilities, and parents should control their children and promote cultural activities that enhanced their development, Col Al Zaabi said.


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