Catalan police on Tuesday evacuated the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona as part of an “anti-terrorist operation” following a bomb scare which later turned out as false alarm.
Experts belonging to Spanish bomb disposal unit TEDAX were called to the scene to examine a van which was parked close to the site, Xinhua news agency reported.
The announcement was made at around 8:30 p.m. local time after the police evacuated the symbol of Barcelona and closed its metro station.
The police tweeted, “as part of an anti-terrorist operation, we are carrying out checks and have sealed off the area,” adding that the streets “Provenca, Rosello and Sardenya ” had been closed and advising people likely to pass the area to find an alternative route.
The evacuation coincided with FC Barcelona’s debut in the Champions League under strict security measures with the police asking for “patience” from supporters.
It is thought that the Sagrada Familia was one of the targets originally chosen by the perpetrators who carried out the August 17 attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in which 16 people lost their lives.
Barcelona is on Level 4 on the level of threat for terrorist attack, the report said.