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Italian Police Take Up a Different Kind of Shield in Gladiator Sting

Police in Rome dressed to fit in with a group of gladiators arrested 20 of the men as part of a sting operation where they allegedly learned that the men attacked each other to compete for tourist photo opportunities.

The gladiator impersonators -- who were linked to five tourist agencies and seven families -- competed to collect up to $14 per photo at the country's popular attractions, including St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and the Colosseum, AFP reports.

Police first heard of the attacks when five competitors tipped them about the gang's activities. Officers then confirmed the violent behavior after they disguised themselves as gladiators and were beaten by their counterparts. 

When police were attacked, undercover officers dressed as members of the public would intervene.

Click to read more on this story from the AFP.