Eiffel Tower Evacuated in Terror Threat
The iconic Eiffel Tower of Paris was evacuated Saturday evening in response to what appeared to be a bomb scare at around 7:00 p.m. local time.
The 1,063-foot tower, a top worldwide tourist site, attracts millions of visitors to Paris each year.
An estimated 1,400 to 1,500 tourists were visiting the famed site when French anti-terrorism police made the decision to clear the tower of everyone – including security guards, a rare move.
Police set up a dragnet around the world-famous Paris monument that is seen in nearly every postcard depicting the French capital, announcing an hours-long search was expected.
Sniffer dog teams were included in the search for explosives, according the L’Express news website.
No explosives were found.
France has recently become especially cautious, raising counter terrorism measures due to threats over its military activities in Mali against an coup attempt against the local government by an Al Qaeda-linked terror group several months ago.
The tower has been cleared due to bomb threats several times before, including at least twice in 2011.
No one has ever succeeded in blowing it up, although in September 2010, Paris police did indeed discover a suspicious object during their search of the site. Some 25,000 tourists were visiting the site and the surrounding park at the time when an anonymous tip was phoned in to the police precinct.
The monument was again threatened two weeks later, when police were once again forced to evacuate the site in order to search for explosives in response to a telephoned warning.