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Eiffel Tower shut down due to terror threat

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Paris: The Eiffel Tower was shut to all visitors on Sunday after three “terrorist suspects” with “large rucksacks” were seen ascending France’s most popular tourist attraction.

Anti-terrorist police supported by a helicopter could be seen at the iconic landmark following the alarm being raised in the early hours.

But after a search which went on all morning it was thought they escaped via parachute – prompting a theory that they had been extreme sportsmen all along.

“There were reports of three people climbing the tower from the outside from about 5.30 a.m.,” said a police source.

“They were said to have large rucksacks so no chances could be taken. They completely disappeared, so enquiries are centred on them being extreme parachutists.

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www.e-architect.co.uk

“There were, of course, fears that they may have left dangerous material on the tower before leaving.”

According to Daily Mail online, the tower has frequently been threatened by terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda and IS, with security stepped up since attacks by three radical Islamist gunmen in the city in January.

A police cordon was formed around the tower and people were moved to the banks of the nearby River Seine.

There have been numerous bomb alerts at the Eiffel Tower in recent years, and France is currently on the highest state vigilance alert.

The 1,050 ft-tall iron lattice tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and soon turned into a prestige symbol of modern France.

It is the most visited paid-for monument in the world, with some seven-million people a year going up it.

(IANS)

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US Offering Rewards Upto $10mn for Information on Lebanon Hezbollah Finances

The payments will be made by the State Department's Rewards for Justice program, which until now has focused on offering cash rewards for information that leads to the capture of wanted terrorists

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lebanon hezbollah
FILE - Hezbollah fighters parade in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 12, 2010. VOA

The United States is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information that disrupts the finances of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant organization.

The U.S. State Department announced the award Monday, saying it would be paid to those who give information about major Hezbollah donors and financiers as well as businesses that support the organization and banks that facilitate the group’s transactions.

The payments will be made by the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program, which until now has focused on offering cash rewards for information that leads to the capture of wanted terrorists.

lebanon hezbollah
The United States is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information that disrupts the finances of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant organization. Pixabay

Hezbollah was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in 1997.

ALSO READ: Sri Lanka Blames ‘National Thowfeek Jamaath’ Islamist Group for Series of Attacks

The Shi’ite group, backed by Iran, has recently been increasing its influence on Lebanon’s government. It has also been growing its regional clout, including sending fighters to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad.

The State Department said its Rewards for Justice program has paid more than $150 million to more than 100 people for giving information that helped brings terrorists to justice or prevented acts of terrorism. The program began in 1984. (VOA)