Double evacuation in Paris after bag full of ammunition discovered near Eiffel Tower and bomb scare at Arc de Triomphe
- French police were deployed to the Arc de Triomphe at around 3pm today
- The area around the famous landmark in central Paris has been evacuated
- The Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile metro station nearby has also been closed
- Paris Champ de Mars Park was briefly evacuated after ammunition was found
- There have been several false bomb alerts, most recently in the Lyon railway station last week and at the Eiffel Tower a month ago
There have been two police evacuations in Paris today after a bag full of ammunition was discovered near the Eiffel Tower and a bomb scare at the Arc de Triomphe.
Police were deployed to the western end of the Champs-Élysées, where the Arc de Triomphe monument stands, at 3pm today.
The area around the landmark, including part of the Champs-Élysées avenue, has been evacuated while police continue their search.
Meanwhile, the Paris Champ de Mars park around the Eiffel Tower was evacuated briefly this afternoon following the discovery of a bag filled with ammunition, a police spokesman said. He added that the evacuation of the park was over now.
Footage uploaded to social media showed people sprinting up the escalators at Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile metro station after it was evacuated earlier this afternoon.
Pictured: An cordoned-off Arc De Triomphe after French police responded to a bomb threat earlier this afternoon
Police said the area around the Eiffel Tower was briefly evacuated after the discovery of a bag of ammunition
France is on high alert following the beheading of a teacher earlier this month by an 18-year old Muslim man angry about the use of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a civics lesson.
There have been several false bomb alerts, most recently in the Lyon railway station last week and at the Eiffel Tower a month ago.
French President Emmanuel Macron has found himself demonised at protests across the Islamic world as anger grew this week over his defence of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Bangladesh on Tuesday, branding him a ‘Satan-worshipper’ and burning him in effigy following smaller marches in Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey and Gaza yesterday.
Meanwhile hard-line Iranian newspaper Vatan-e Emrooz published a front-page cartoon of Macron as the Devil, branding him anti-Islamic and claiming that ‘French extremists’ had been seen burning copies of the Koran.
Iran also summoned the French ambassador on Tuesday in protest at Macron’s remarks, calling them ‘unwise’. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia put out a statement saying it ‘denounces the offensive cartoons of the prophet’.
Bangladeshis also added their voices to calls for a widespread boycott of French goods, with shops in Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Palestinian territories already pulling products including makeup and food from the shelves.
More to follow…