The Eiffel Tower in Paris was evacuated for two hours Wednesday after an anonymous caller threatened to blow up the great edifice in the heart of the French capital, police said.
After an inspection, nothing suspicious was found and the Eiffel Tower was able to reopen to visitors.
“A man phoned up, shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ and said he was going to ‘blow up everything'” at the Eiffel Tower, said a police source, who asked not to be named.
A security cordon was put around the monument, traffic diverted and the Eiffel Tower evacuated at 12:15 pm (1015 GMT).
Its operator SETE said in a statement that after a thorough search nothing was found and the tower was able to reopen at 2:15 pm.
The monument had reopened on June 26 after its longest closure since World War II forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Eiffel Tower usually receives about seven million visitors a year, some three-quarters from abroad, although even after reopening numbers are down sharply due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic.
The roughly 90-minute drama recalled a similar evacuation in October after an explosive device was discovered at CNN’s New York headquarters.
Fire alarm bells rang inside the newsroom to signal an evacuation shortly after 10:30 pm, CNN said on its website, as the network went to pre-taped programming.
An hour later the network was broadcasting from Skype.
“People just tuning in wondering why you’re seeing me on Skype, why there are such technical difficulties, it’s because we have been taken off the air because a bomb threat was called into CNN,” said host Don Lemon.
“We were evacuated and we know as much as you do.”
“Due to a police investigation at Columbus Circle, West 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue is closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic,” the New York Police Department tweeted, referring to the address of the news organization’s offices. “Please avoid this area. Update to follow.”
Around midnight, CNN said police had given the all clear for people to go back into the building.
The bureau was previously evacuated in October after a package with an explosive device was discovered.
CNN was targeted amid a wave of pipe bombs sent to opponents of President Donald Trump.
A Florida man named Cesar Sayoc was arrested for allegedly sending them and was indicted on 30 federal counts. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar has placed officers and men of the force, as well as other special operatives, on red alert nation-wide to ensure a safe outing ahead of the 2013 Independence Day Celebration.
The police chief said he has also directed all Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs), Command Commissioners of Police, including the Maritime Command to ensure adequate and effective deployment of all operational tools and manpower within their commands, and to pay special attention to shopping malls, public parks and beaches, highways and other critical infrastructure and sensitive areas in order to guarantee the safety and well being of the citizenry.
In a statement signed by the Force spokesperson, Mr. Frank Mba, the force assured Nigerians that it would do everything within available resources to discharge their statutory responsibilities of providing safe and secure environment for all, particularly during this period.
He urged well-meaning persons and groups to cooperate with the Force by providing useful information, especially with regards to the on-going fight against terrorism and other forms of crime and criminality, for the mutual benefit and collective interest of the citizenry.