September 16, 2018 / 10:50 AM / 7 days ago

Bomb squad search car in French capital, no threat found

PARIS (Reuters) - French police closed off part of the Champs Elysees boulevard in the capital on Sunday as bomb disposal officers used a sniffer dog and robot to investigate a suspect vehicle, before determining there was no security threat.

Paris police bomb squad and sniffing dog inspect a car in Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, September 16, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

A Reuters photographer said police cordoned off the avenue close to the Arc de Triomphe and that onlookers had been kept 150 meters (492 feet) from the scene.

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With its luxury boutiques and terraced cafes, the Champs Elysees is a major draw for tourists and was the site of two attacks on French security forces last year.

A Paris police spokeswoman said the investigation was complete.

In June, 2017, a man rammed a car carrying weapons and explosives into a police van as it drove in a convoy down the boulevard. Two months earlier that year, a gunman shot dead a policeman on the Champs Elysees in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

The streets of the French capital were closed to traffic from 11:00 (0900 GMT) on Sunday for a no-car day in the city.

Reporting by Antony Paone; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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