Eiffel tower evacuated, after bomb threat

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Eiffel tower evacuated, The Eiffel Tower was evacuated tonight following a telephoned terrorist bomb warning.

Some 1,500 people, including tourists and staff, were escorted out of France's most famous landmark shortly after 7.30pm.

It follows threats from Al-Qaeda pledging 'revenge' for the French intervention in the African state of Mali to fight Islamic terrorists.

Police said an anonymous call had been received from a phone booth in a Paris suburb warning that explosives had been place around the tower.

The bomb warning said the blast would happen at 9.30pm, said police. But by 10pm there had been no explosion.

The tower was still shut, with trained sniffer dog teams searching for a possible bomb.

‘It may be that the tower does not reopen tonight,’ said a police spokesman.

‘Searches are carrying on, but no member

The tower is normally open until midnight during the Easter weekend, and nearby restaurants including Le Jules Verne are particularly busy on a Saturday night.

A police cordon was formed around the tower and people were moved to the banks of the nearby River Seine.

There have been numerous bomb alerts at the Eiffel Tower in recent years, and France is currently on the highest state vigilance alert because of threats from  Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

President Francois Hollande has placed himself at the centre of the global war against terrorism, committing troops and airpower to the on-going war in Mali.

He has also stepped up security in mainland France, where there is a constant fear that Islamic extremists will strike.

The 1,050ft tall iron lattice tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and soon turned into a prestige symbol of modern France.

It is the most visited paid-for monument in the world, with some 7million people a year going up it.

For all these reasons, French security officials frequently highlight the tower’s vulnerability to terrorist attack.

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Eiffel tower evacuated, after bomb threat