Eiffel bomb threat 'false alarm'

Iconic tower in French capital reopens to tourists after no explosives found following anonymous call of a bomb threat.

    A police officer said about 25,000 people were in the area at the time of the alert [EPA]

    French police have reopened Eiffel Tower to tourists after combing through the landmark monument in the capital looking for suspicious objects, local media have said.

    Local media said police found nothing suspicious at the tower, France's most famous tourist attraction, with people were walking around and riding bicycles under it by midnight.

    France's BFM television and other French media reported that the scare was a false alarm.

    The tower, which usually closes at 11pm, had 6.6 million visitors last year.

    On Tuesday evening police evacuated the 324-metre tower and the park surrounding the Paris landmark after an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat.

    "The company managing the Eiffel Tower received an anonymous telephone call around 8:20 pm (1820 GMT)," the Paris police told the AFP news agency.

    "Special units, one with sniffer dogs, went to the site to search the Eiffel Tower floor by floor."

    A police spokesman said about 25,000 people were in the area at the time of the alert but left calmly shortly before 9:00 pm (1900 GMT).

    Another anonymous call led to a bomb scare at the Saint-Michel metro station, which was evacuated briefly, added the spokesman.

    Those evacuated were asked to stay on the nearby Seine river banks and the Champ de Mars park to the east, and the tower area was cordoned off.

    The structure, the tallest building in the French capital, is the single most visited paid monument in the world.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the threats, but it comes after the head of France's counter-espionage agency was quoted this weekend as saying that the risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has never been higher.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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