Eiffel Tower evacuated following bomb alert

September 15, 2010 11:20 am 

PARIS, Sept. 15 — French icon Eiffel Tower and the square surrounding it were evacuated by Paris police following a bomb alert on Tuesday night, according to local media.

Around 9:00 p.m. local time, heavily armed policemen appeared at the Paris landmark ordering tourists to evacuate. The square under the Tower was also closed to the public.

Local reports quoted a policeman that the alert was triggered either by a threatening call or the discovery of a suspect package.

According to French Press Agency, police at the site said about 25,000 people were forced away from the site, but local television said the affected population was around 2,000.

As Eiffel Tower stands at the center of Paris, the clearance of roads below it has sparked traffic chaos. Tourists were advised to stay along banks of the Seine River or other safe places.

On July 11, a false bomb threat forced an Air France plane to make emergent landing in Brazil shortly after taking off for Paris.

Last weekend, however, the executive of French Interior Intelligence Agency Bernard Squarcini warned the French soil was threatened by "never higher" risk of terrorist attacks.

In 1995, two explosions taking place at Paris metro and in an ashbin near the Triumphal Arch had caused several casualties. (PNA/Xinhua)



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