Eiffel Tower Evacuated After Bomb Threat
Nearly 1,400 people leave over anonymous phone call
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 30, 2013 4:25 PM CDT
Police officers stand in front of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

(Newser) – Police say the Eiffel Tower has been evacuated after an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat. A Paris police official says nearly 1,400 people have been evacuated following a request from tower operators after the warning today. Police then searched the monument with sniffer dogs for possible explosives, and set up a broad security perimeter.

French authorities have stepped up counterterrorism measures in recent weeks amid heightened concern about threats to France over its military campaign against al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Mali, which began more than two months ago. The tower is occasionally evacuated because of such warnings—at least once last year and twice in 2011. The 1,063-foot tower is one of the world's top tourist attractions, with millions of visitors a year.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Mar 31, 2013 6:46 AM CDT
Army Eliminates Terrorists, Destroys Their Hideouts and Weapons Units of the armed forces destroyed terrorist groups hideouts and gatherings in Qara, Ardra, ,Yabroud and al-Nabk in Damascus Countryside, killing a number of terrorists. A military source on Saturday told SANA that a number of cars were destroyed with all the weapons and ammunition inside them, killing all terrorists inside the cars. The source added that a unit of the armed forces destroyed a terrorists' gathering near Lamis factory in Adra. Another unit of the armed forces carried out a series of qualitative operations against terrorists in the farms surrounding Yabroud and al-Nabk. The army killed a number of terrorists and destroyed their dens with all weapons and ammunition inside them. In the meantime, army units killed and injured several terrorists in the farms of al-Shifouniyeh, al-Eteibeh, Jouber in eastern Ghouta. SANA quoted an official source as saying that an army unit destroyed a den for terrorists in al-Shifouniyeh with all weapons, ammunition and vehicles inside. A number of terrorists were killed in the operation including two leaders of terrorist groups, Mohammad Mahfoud and Abo Khalid Karbouj. The source told SANA reporter that units of the armed forces destroyed dens and gatherings for armed terrorist groups in a chain of operations in al-Eteibeh town, killing numbers of terrorists, among them Hussein Issa and Yousef a-Sheikh were identified. Meanwhile, army units clashed with terrorist groups near the Sport Hall in Jouber neighborhood, killing there snipers. Clashers also took place to the west and eastern north of the neighborhood in which several terrorists were killed while others were injured. Terrorist Osama Rabei, leader of a terrorist group within the so-called 'Al-Qa'qa' Battalion' was identified among the dead, in addition to terrorist Qassem Hijazi. Terrorists Suffer Heavy Losses in Idleb Units of the armed forces inflicted heavy losses upon terrorist groups in a series of operations in Idleb and its countryside. A military source told SANA that large numbers of terrorists were killed in the villages and towns of Wadi al-Mahamil, Ta'oum, Kfarjales, M'artamsarin, Binnesh and Maaret al-Numan. The source added that army units clashed with terrorist groups in the areas of Tal Salmo, Um Jarin, al-Hamidiyeh and in the surrounding of Seed Multiplication Establishment, killing many terrorists and injuring others. Terrorist Group Repelled in Hama Meanwhile, a unit of the armed forces confronted an armed terrorist group in Kssarin area in Hama countryside, killing and injuring all its members. The source pointed out that huge amounts of weapons and ammunition were seized in the area including PKC machineguns and various types of arms. Guard Forces Confront Terrorist's Attack on Oil Station in Deir Ezzor Guard Forces confronted armed terrorist groups' attack on the second oil station /T2/ in Alboukamal in Deir Ezzor. SANA reporter quoted a source in the province as saying that the guard forces killed a number of terrorists and injured others. The source added that terrorists Hassan al-Saleh al-Alo, Tarif Eid al-Ashaab, Rakan Nafea al-Allao, Yaser Jasem al-Shawakh and Nizar al-Terkey from 'Allah Alkar brigade' were identified among the dead, in addition to terrorist Mohammad al-Atiyeh, the leader of an armed terrorist group called " Ahel al-Athar brigade." The source mentioned that units of the armed forces killed a number of terrorists in al-Huwika and al-Orfi neighborhoods in Deir Ezzor. Terrorist Khalid al-Malek from 'Jund al-Aziz brigade' and terrorists Alaa al-Hussein al-Hamad and Obeideh al-Akli were identified among the dead. A unit of the armed forces clashed with terrorists in al- Muwazafin neighborhood in Deir Ezzor, killing and injuring a number of them. Another unit of the armed forces clashed with an armed terrorist group in al-Mareieh in Deir Ezzor , killing a number of terrorists among them snipers. Residents of al-Msarab in Deir Ezzor Confront Terrorists' Attack on Their Area For the third consecutive day, residents of al-Msarab area in Deir Ezzor continued confronting terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra in Manjam al-Mileh killing a number of them. Terrorists Killed in Lattakia In another context, an army unit clashed with an armed terrorist group in Ghmam village in the countryside of Lattakia. All members of the terrorist group were killed and their vehicles were destroyed. Algerian Humanitarian Aid Arrives to Syrian Govenment A consignment of Algerian humanitarian aid supplies on Saturday arrived in Jdaidat Yabous Center on the Syrian-Lebanese border in Damascus Countryside. The aid, which included food and medical equipment, was offered by the Algerian people to Syrian citizens affected by the crimes of the armed terrorist groups. "The total aid supplies include 40 tons of food and medical materials offered by the Algerian Red Crescent to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent," Algeria's Ambassador in Damascus, Faleh Bousheh, told SANA. He pointed out that 28 tons arrived today in a first batch, while the second batch will arrive next Monday. "This is nominal aid which comes to reflect the Algerian people's support for the friendly people of Syria in this crisis," Bousheh added, expressing hope that Syria will soon overcome the crisis with its land and people preserved. The Algerian Ambassador said his country and people are paying great attention to events taking place in Syria and support with all possible means the efforts to seek a peaceful solution within a Syrian frmework and under the supervision of Syrian leadership. Information Minister: Terrorist Escalation Attempts That Infer Suggestion Of Victory Will Fail Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi, dismissedterrorists' targeting of residential neighborhoods, schools, universities and hospital with mortar shells as defined within the framework of carrying out a hostile foreign order of terrorist escalation to the farthest extent. In an interview with Syrian TV, al-Zoubi affirmed that this escalation comes in parallel with giving Syria's seat at the Arab League (AL) to the 'Doha Coalition', and it aims to suggest that "terrorists are attacking the middle of the capital and that the state is unable to protect the civilians." He stressed the media's aim to "intimidate people to drop their work and suggest that they are close to achieving the goal of aggression on Syria" will definitely fail. "The Syrian Arab Army is at its best, and the Syrian people are keen on their state as they believe in it and their morale ais high," said the Minister. He added that at best these attacks "reflect fear rather than bravery or victory on the part of the armed groups." He noted that Qatar and Turkey and some Arab and Western intelligence "are at once throwing all their weight and bets behind a last desperate attempt to dismember and topple the Syrian state."
Mar 31, 2013 2:58 AM CDT
You know firefighters sometimes start fires to avoid layoffs...
Mar 30, 2013 10:30 PM CDT
The entire skin of the building was blown off! (What? You mean they BUILT it that way?)