Man with ‘toy’ rifle prompts evacuation at Rome’s main station

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Rome’s central Termini train station was evacuated after reports that an armed man had been spotted in one of its terminals late on Monday. However, it turned out to be a false alarm as the man was carrying only a toy rifle, Italian media report.

The station has been reopened and trains have resumed operations. The brief evacuation was prompted by reports of people seeing a gunman at Termini.

La Repubblica newspaper has published a photo captured by a surveillance camera showing a man holding a rifle.

The suspected gunman was detained in Anagni, southeast of Rome. However, the “gun” he was carrying turned out to be a toy, according to Ansa news agency.

Rome has been on high security alert since the Paris terror attacks that took place on November 13 of last year in which 130 people were killed and hundreds injured. There has been an increased police presence in places where the public commonly gathers, especially transport hubs.

The Italian capital welcomed an Iranian delegation led by President Hassan Rouhani on Monday. Tehran is seeking major business deals following the lifting of sanctions last week.  Iranian officials were attending an event in another part of the city at the time of the security alert.