A false alarm in parts of central Paris resulted in a major police operation as security agencies were in action quickly in response to a claim that hostages had been taken in Saint-Leu church on Saturday afternoon.
Over one hundred police officers, which included elite units, were deployed around the Saint-Leu church, located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, to deal with the possible terror attack that was imagined to have involved hostages.
The security operation reportedly also involved helicopters while the residents and shoppers around the area panicked because of the sudden turn of events around them.
However, it turned out to there was no danger at all, and that it was only a false alarm. The cops who had earlier cordoned off the areas in the vicinity of Saint-Leu church, had reopened them to traffic after a satisfactory finding that there was no apparent danger.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, an interior ministry spokesman, told BFM TV: “As the operation took place, the church’s priest came out as well as a number of people and the BRI (emergency intervention and search service) made sure there was nobody, that there was no assailant.”
The news broke out quickly in Paris with SAIP, the French government security alert app, warning citizens around 4:14 PM local time about a police operation carried out at Chatelet’s busy shopping area while advising them to stay away.
In just over thirty minutes, at 4:48 PM local time, the terror alert was lifted by the French police and normal activities in the area resumed following it.
France, which has seen quite a lot of terror attacks on its soil, would have breathed easy after confirmation that Saturday’s incident was only a false alarm and there was no real hostage issue to concern it.
The nation continues to be on high alert, sitting on the edge, as it faces possible terror strikes at any time, at any location on its soil. A couple of months back, 86 people died while as many as 434 were injured in a terror attack at Nice which saw a terrorist using a truck ran over all the people who were in the middle of his way during the 2016 Bastille Day.