Abandoned luggage sparks evacuation at Eiffel Tower

FILE PHOTO © Mal Langsdon
The iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris has been evacuated after security services spotted an abandoned piece of luggage, French outlet BFMTV reports. Visitors have been posting pictures online of police cordoning off the entrance.

According to BMFTV, a backpack was the likely trigger of the evacuation.

People posted pictures of a heavy security presence at the monument, saying law enforcers were ”are all over” the place. Soldiers and police armed with assault rifles were spotted in front of the Eiffel Tower’s entrance.

Some people at the site had said previously that a “suspicious” package had caused the evacuation.

According to BMFTV the evacuation was undertaken as a precautionary measure in the wake of numerous assaults that hit the country in the space of about a year.

Last month, Islamists armed with knives killed an elderly priest in a church in a suburb of Rouen in northern France. Both claimed to be from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Following the assault French President Francois Hollande said that the country is in a “state of war.”

On July 14, an Islamist-linked attacker drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the city of Nice. The latest figures say 85 people died as a result with scores more wounded. The assailant himself was shot dead by police. Following the carnage, the French leader prolonged a state of emergency, which was instituted after deadly terror attacks in Paris in January and November last year.