Voting Suspended At French Consulate in New York After Bomb Threat

NEW YORK (AFP) – The French consulate in New York, where thousands of expatriates were registered to cast ballots in their presidential election on Saturday, was briefly evacuated following a bomb threat, officials said.

A suspicious vehicle prompted police to clear the building on Fifth Avenue across from Central Park, Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre said.

“After the Champs Elysees attack, the New York police department was told to be especially vigilant,” she said.

Dozens of people who were inside the building at about 5 pm (2100 GMT) waited on the sidewalk while authorities checked the vehicle.

The situation returned to normal after about 50 minutes, consulate press officer Amelie Geoffroy said.

Voting activities, which were scheduled to take place until 7 pm, also resumed, she added.

Some 28,500 French citizens living in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are registered to vote at the consulate.

Security measures were strengthened at French polling stations across the United States following a jihadist’s killing of a policeman on Paris’ famed Champs Elysees avenue this week.

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