Louvre Museum and Versailles Palace evacuated amid bomb threats in France

The Louvre Museum in Paris and Versailles Palace were evacuated on Saturday following bomb threats, according to authorities. The evacuations occurred in the wake of a fatal school stabbing by a suspected Islamic extremist, prompting the French government to deploy 7,000 troops to enhance security across the country. The heightened vigilance in France is a response to the recent school attack and the global tensions surrounding the conflict between Israel and Hamas, as the government is concerned about potential fallout from the war.

The Louvre Museum, which attracts millions of visitors annually, was evacuated after receiving written bomb threats. However, no bomb was found, and no one was injured. The museum is expected to reopen on Sunday. Similarly, Versailles Palace also received bomb threats, leading to its evacuation. The sprawling gardens and palace are currently being examined by police. Additionally, a major train station in Paris, Gare de Lyon, was evacuated after a possible bottle explosive was discovered.

President Emmanuel Macron's office announced the mobilization of 7,000 soldiers by Monday night. This move follows the government's decision to raise the national threat alert level after the school attack in Arras. The "attack emergency" threat posture allows for the temporary deployment of additional troops to protect public places.

The motive behind the school stabbing remains unclear, and the suspect is reportedly refusing to cooperate with investigators. The attacker had been under surveillance for Islamic radicalization and was detained for questioning prior to the attack. However, no evidence was found to suggest that he was planning an attack. French intelligence has indicated a potential link between the suspect's actions and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

In the aftermath of the school attack, some students, parents, and personnel returned to the Gambetta-Carnot school. Trauma specialists emphasized the importance of addressing emotions and revisiting the scene soon after such horrific events. Some parents sought guidance from counselors on how to support their children who witnessed the attack. The Education Ministry announced that all middle schools and high schools in France would open later on Monday to allow staff to discuss the incident and reassure students. Each establishment will observe a minute of silence to honor victims of attacks targeting schools.

President Macron called on the people of France to remain united in the face of these challenges.


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