Sagrada Familia evacuation declared false alarm after Barcelona police clear iconic church

The landmark was the intended target of a terror attack in August, which killed 13 people

Will Worley
Tuesday 12 September 2017 21:02
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The Sagrada Familia was the intended target of a previous attack
The Sagrada Familia was the intended target of a previous attack

Catalan police evacuated the iconic Sagrada Familia church in central Barcelona after a bomb scare, after a "suspicious" van was parked near the church.

The surrounding streets were also cleared and public transport was diverted.

An anti-terrorism operation was announced after concern was raised over the vehicle, which had two people inside. No one was detained.

Officers from the bomb squad were on the scene on Tuesday evening, according to Mossos, the Catalan police service.

Armed police officers were also seen patrolling the area and locals were told to avoid it.

"If you live near Sagrda Familia, do not leave your home," the Mossos Twitter account said earlier on Tuesday.

"Stay calm and follow official information. We are working to restore normality."

The force later announced it was a "false alarm".

The Sagrada Familia, a Barcelona landmark, was said to be the intended target of a terrorist attack in August which killed 16 people.

Extremist group Isis claimed responsibility for the attacks.

A terrorist cell, which carried out the two vehicle ramming attacks in Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas area, are believed to have been planned a much larger bomb attack on the Church.

But is is thought the terrorists' plans were scuppered due to an accidental explosion at their safe house, in the town of Alcanar.

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