Heavy metal greats Iron Maiden have criticised a group of fans who were arrested after attempting to break into a concert in Bogota, Colombia.

More than 100 people were arrested after so-called "riots" sparked when gatecrashers threw stones ahead of the Fear of the Dark legends' show in the Colombian capital.

Rod Smallwood, Iron Maiden's tour manager, said the band "abhor the inane behaviour of a small minority of people outside".

"They do Iron Maiden, [heavy] metal and the real Colombian fans a disservice and sadly just provide a reason for the military to feel they need to be there," he added.

However, Mr Smallwood, who confirmed the band are now in Quito for their next show and will return to Colombia in future, said the media reports of the arrests were "wildly exaggerated".

"Everyone is just fine. The 'riots' were basically a lot of kids trying to break into the Simon Bolivar Park to see the show and the park has a big perimeter to protect," he wrote on the band's website.

"There is a large military presence for all concerts in Bogota as can be seen in our forthcoming movie Flight 666."

He explained the group had played two concerts in Bogota in the last 13 months without any problems.

"Neither performance was at all affected by the incidents of people outside trying to break in.

"None of the enjoyment of the show or safety of the band or our audiences was at all compromised."

It is believed the incidents have caused local authorities to consider the safety of hosting heavy metal concerts in the future.

10/03/2009 15:22:08