Sunday Mar 31, 201305:52 AM GMT
Eiffel Tower evacuated after bomb threat
People walk past French police cars blocking the Eiffel Tower, Paris, March 30, 2013.
People walk past French police cars blocking the Eiffel Tower, Paris, March 30, 2013. French troops in Mali (file photo)
People walk past French police cars blocking the Eiffel Tower, Paris, March 30, 2013.
Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:48AM
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Concerned about reprisals at home over its war on Mali, France has intensified security measures with the heavy presence of police and military units at government buildings, subway and railway stops as well as major tourist sites. Uniformed French troops are reportedly patrolling inside subway trains and monitoring major streets.

The Eiffel Tower has been evacuated following an anonymous phone call that threatened a bomb attack on the famous monument, police say.


French police sources said about 1,400 visitors to the tower were rushed out when the call came from the Paris suburbs and threatened an assault at 9:30 p.m. local time (2030 GMT) on Saturday.

However, police did not find any suspicious objects in the site and the tourist attraction was reopened after around two and a half hours.

Concerned about reprisals at home over its war on Mali, France has intensified security measures with the heavy presence of police and military units at government buildings, subway and railway stops as well as major tourist sites. Uniformed French troops are reportedly patrolling inside subway trains and monitoring major streets.

On January 11, France launched aerial attacks and deployed hundreds of troops into Mali in a major war that Paris claimed had been intended to drive out anti-government fighters in its former African colony.

Local fighters in northern Mali pledged to strike “at the heart” of France. They said retaliatory attacks against France would take place “everywhere; In Bamako, in Africa and in Europe.”

The French-led war in Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in the northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.

On February 1, Amnesty International raised the issue of “serious human rights breaches” - including the killing of children - which occurred during the French war on Mali.

MR/HSN
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