World News

Eiffel Tower evacuated in Paris bomb alert

PARIS (Reuters) - French police evacuated tourists from the landmark Paris Eiffel Tower and a metro station following bomb alerts Tuesday evening, but searches found no explosives, police said.

A police spokesman said the company that operates the Eiffel Tower received an anonymous call around 2030 local time (1430 EDT) saying a bomb had been planted there.

“Special units were on site and have inspected the entire structure and nothing was found. About 2,000 people were evacuated from the perimeter,” the spokesman said.

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

The station was the site of a July 1995 bomb claimed by Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group (GIA), which killed eight and wounded 80.

French police have been on high alert due to the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

Also, the French senate voted Tuesday to ban the wearing of the Muslim veil, the burqa or niqab.

The introduction of the law had led to threats from leaders of radical Islamist groups against France, but French police made no link between the bomb alert and the vote on the ban.

In an unrelated development, police said a Jewish man was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle in another Paris suburb.

Reporting by Thierry Lvque, Nicolas Bertin and Bate Felix; editing by Michael Roddy