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France’s Louvre Museum and the Palace of Versailles evacuated visitors after receiving bomb threats Saturday, a day after the French government declared a nationwide, top-level security alert following the fatal stabbing of a teacher, Radio France Internationale reported.
Officials from both venues said they received threatening messages, including bomb threats, prompting the evacuations and temporary closures. No one was injured during the evacuations.
Saturday’s incident came after France raised its national threat alert to its highest level and ordered the deployment of 7,000 soldiers to bolster security around the country.
The government’s decision follows a knife attack in the northeastern town of Arras that authorities say is likely a terror act. The alleged attacker, a former student named Mohammed Moguchkov, stabbed and killed a teacher, as well as injuring three others. No students were hurt during the attack.
Authorities said Moguchkov was on France’s watch list for suspected radicals. He was later arrested with a few other suspects, including some of his family members “for the purpose of the investigation,” police said.
Meanwhile, officials said the attack and the raising of the national threat level followed the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
The incident in Arras took place nearly three years after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty in a Paris suburb on October 16, 2020, an attack labeled as terrorism.
France has experienced a series of attacks by Islamist extremists since 2015, and while there has been a lull in recent years, officials say the threat persists. On Thursday, French officials banned all pro-Palestinian protests because they “are likely to generate disturbances to public order,” Agence France-Presse reported.
France has both the largest Jewish and the largest Muslim minority populations in Europe.