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Paris terrorist alerts multiply

Last night's evacuation of the Eiffel Tower is the fourth bomb scare to hit the capital in a fortnight

28 September 2010

PARIS has been hit by its fourth bomb alert in a fortnight, with the interior ministry warning of an "imminent threat" of a terrorist attack.

The Eiffel Tower was evacuated last night for the second time, following an anonymous call made from a nearby public phone box, warning of a parcel bomb.

More than 600 people were cleared from the area at about 19.15 and a security cordon put up within a 300m radius of the monument.

Bomb-clearing experts found nothing and the tower reopened shortly before 21.00.

The Gare Saint-Lazare, a busy mainline station, was evacuated on Monday, disrupting train services for an hour. Again, nothing was found.

The alerts come two weeks after the last bomb scare at the Eiffel Tower, in which 2,000 people were evacuated.

The September 14 evacuation was accompanied by another alert at Saint-Michel RER station, the target of a bomb attack by Algerian terrorists in 1995 that killed eight people and injured 150.

Sky News claims this morning that a terrorist plot by Pakistani militants against France, Germany and Britain has been uncovered by intelligence officers.

Interior minister Brice Hortefeux said last week that the terrorist risk in France was "real" and there was "an imminent threat of an attack".

France’s national security alert system, called Vigipirate, has been on its second highest level, red, since the July 2005 terrorist attacks in London.

Some 3,400 police officers and 800 military personnel are responsible for patrolling potential targets, such as monuments and official buildings.

Photo: ajcomenta1/Twitpic

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