Eiffel Tower searched floor by floor

2010-09-14 23:32

Paris - Police teams with sniffer dogs were on Tuesday night carrying out a floor-by-floor search of the Eiffel Tower in Paris after a bomb alert.

Police started evacuating the French landmark just before 21:00 (19:00 GMT) after an anonymous caller said a bomb had been placed on one of the world's most popular tourist attractions, France Info Radio reported.

A police cordon was thrown around the tower and about 1 000 people were moved to the banks of the nearby River Seine, reports said.

Initial reports said about 25 000 people were on the tower or in the Champs de Mars, the green area surrounding it, when the alert was given. They were all moved outside a broad security area established by Paris police.

It was too early to say if the bomb scare was related to the fact that the French Senate earlier on Tuesday approved a ban on wearing the Islamic full-body veil in all public areas.

Despite the scare, tourists and curious Parisians continued to mill around the surrounding pavements and traffic continued to circulate nearby. Several police trucks were posted under the tower and officers stood guard.

The tower is France's most popular monument, and last year it was visited by 6.6 million people.

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