“It follows threats from Al-Qaeda pledging ‘revenge’ for the French intervention in the African state of Mali to fight Islamic terrorists.”
“BREAKING NEWS: 1,500 people evacuated from Eiffel Tower after anonymous phone call claimed explosives had been placed around landmark,” by Peter Allen for the Daily Mail, March 30 (thanks to Darcy):
The Eiffel Tower was evacuated tonight following a telephoned terrorist bomb warning.
Some 1,500 people, including tourists and staff, were escorted out of France’s most famous landmark shortly after 7.30pm.
It follows threats from Al-Qaeda pledging ‘revenge’ for the French intervention in the African state of Mali to fight Islamic terrorists.
Police said an anonymous call had been received from a phone booth in a Paris suburb warning that explosives had been place around the tower.
The bomb warning said the blast would happen at 9.30pm, said police. But by 10pm there had been no explosion.
The tower was still shut, with trained sniffer dog teams searching for a possible bomb.
“˜It may be that the tower does not reopen tonight,” said a police spokesman.
“˜Searches are carrying on, but no members of the public are being allowed anywhere near. There has been a full evacuation.”
The tower is normally open until midnight during the Easter weekend, and nearby restaurants including Le Jules Verne are particularly busy on a Saturday night.
A police cordon was formed around the tower and people were moved to the banks of the nearby River Seine.
There have been numerous bomb alerts at the Eiffel Tower in recent years, and France is currently on the highest state vigilance alert because of threats from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
President Francois Hollande has placed himself at the centre of the global war against terrorism, committing troops and airpower to the on-going war in Mali.
He has also stepped up security in mainland France, where there is a constant fear that Islamic extremists will strike….