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Eiffel Tower evacuated after fake bomb threat, terror alert cleared

Paris, Mar 31 (): A terror alert issued at the Eiffel Tower has been cleared after no suspicious objects were found in the monument on Saturday. An official said it is set to reopen.

The French police evacuated nearly 1,400 people from the Eiffel Tower on Saturday for about two hours after they received the anonymous call of bomb threat. Police received the threatening call of bomb attack at 9:30 p.m., Paris time.

On receiving the call, police searched the monument with sniffer dogs for any explosives, and set up a broad security perimeter. No explosives were found. After they completed the search and proved the threat to be a fake, the monument was reopened.

French authorities have undertaken counter terrorism measures in the recent weeks with intensified concern about fears to France over its military campaign against Al Qaeda-linked fighters in Mali which began more than two months ago.

Police could not find out the source of the call, but according to the leading daily Le Parisien the anonymous call was made from a phone booth in a Paris suburb.

Although famous landmarks visited by tourists and other crowded and monumental public places are often the targets of bomb threats regularly, the police takes these threats very seriously. Eiffel Tower is nothing new for such bomb threats. The Tower is sometimes evacuated because of such warnings — at least once last year and twice in 2011.

Eiffel Tower is situated at Champ de Maris. The tower is named after Gustave Eiffel, the designer and builder of the entrance arch to the 1889 World Fair. It is the tallest structure in Paris and the 1,063-foot (324-meter) tower is one of the world’s top tourist attractions, with millions of visitors a year.

Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid monument in the world. In 2011, 7.1 million visited the tower, although in 2010, it had received its 250th million visitor.