Three Airports and Versailles Palace Shut Down as Terror Fears Grip France

VERSAILLES, FRANCE - OCTOBER 17: French police take security measures at the Palace of Ver
Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu via Getty Images

PARIS (AP) – The Palace of Versailles was evacuated for security reasons on Wednesday for the third time since the weekend, the former royal chateau said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. It was among a spate of evacuations in the past five days around France, including three airports that were also forced to close for security checks.

The Chateau of Versailles apologized to visitors on X for being forced to clear out visitors from the sumptuous 17th-century palace “for security reasons.”

Three French airports in the cities of Lyon, Toulouse and Lille were also evacuated Wednesday following security alerts, police said, following emailed threats, without elaborating on the nature of the threats.

The evacuations were the latest in a series around France that included another popular tourist attraction, the Louvre Museum, following the killing of a teacher in the northern city of Arras on Friday. All the threats up to Wednesday proved false.

The Louvre Museum and the Chateau of Versailles were both evacuated Saturday, and the former royal palace was again evacuated Tuesday.

The prefecture for the Lyon region said Wednesday that the threat at the airport was a false alarm and reminded the public that communicating false information can lead to prison and a heavy fine.

Meanwhile, an abandoned piece of luggage briefly disrupted operations at the airport in the Riviera city of Nice, the airport said.

A high school in Arras, in northern France, was evacuated on Monday ahead of a moment of silence in schools around France, three days after the murder of a teacher at the Arras school allegedly carried out by a former student and suspected Islamist extremist.

However, it was not clear whether the spate of security threats was linked to the fatal stabbing of the teacher.

France has raised its threat alert to its highest level. The anti-terrorism prosecutor said on Tuesday that the suspect declared his allegiance to the so-called Islamic State group before the fatal stabbing.

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