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The Latest: Police: Barcelona church evacuation false alarm

September 12, 2017 - 1:00 PM

MADRID - The Latest on an anti-terror operation in Barcelona (all times local):

9:50 p.m.

Police in Barcelona say experts found no explosives after searching a suspicious van near the landmark Sagrada Familia basilica and that concern about a possible extremist attack that prompted evacuations was a false alarm.

A spokesman with the Mossos d'Esquadra regional police said two occupants being spotted in the van near the church had raised the alarm on Tuesday evening but a bomb squad didn't find any explosives.

The spokesman declined to be identified by name, following the force's protocol.

Barcelona, a tourism hub in northeast Spain's Catalonia region, and a nearby coastal town were targets of extremist attacks that killed 16 people last month.

Spain has kept its anti-terrorism security warning one level below the maximum since mid-2015.

— By Aritz Parra.

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9:10 p.m.

Police in Barcelona say explosives experts are checking a van in the surroundings of the landmark Sagrada Familia cathedral in what they are describing as an anti-terrorism operation.

A spokesman with the Mossos d'Esquadra regional police said the church has been evacuated and several streets cordoned off to allow police work in the area.

The spokesman declined to be identified by name, following the force's protocol.

Barcelona, a tourism hub in northeast Spain's Catalonia region, and a nearby coastal town were targets of extremist attacks that killed 16 people last month. The Islamic State claimed the attacks.

Spain has kept its anti-terrorism security warning one level below the maximum since mid-2015.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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