Barcelona's Sagrada Familia evacuated in false alarm

Police in Barcelona say explosives experts are checking a van near the city's evacuated Sagrada Familia cathedral

The police force of Catalonia has confirmed the Barcelona scare was a false alarm.

Officers from the bomb squad were on the scene on Tuesday evening, according to Mossos, the Catalan police service.

Nearby shops had also been evacuated as a precaution.

News reported that a bomb squad has been deployed to investigate a suspicious vehicle near the church.

Barcelona is on Level 4 on the level of threat for terrorist attack, the report said.

The drama is understood to have been sparked by a suspicious package inside a van. El Periódico said no target had been mentioned in the warning.

Barcelona has been alert ever since the terrorist attack in Las Ramblas in August, which involved a van ramming into a crowd and leaving 13 people dead.

Authorities locked down and evacuated the area around a the city's Sagrada Familia cathedral citing an anti-terrorism operation.

The Sagrada Familia is known to have been one of the intended targets of the terrorists who carried out attacks on Las Ramblas in Barcelona and in the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils last month.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took the responsibility for both attacks.

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