There has been a bomb scare in Paris just hours to the final of Euro 2016, according to multiple reports.
A bomb squad blew up a ‘suspicious bag’ found some 10 yards from the French team bus just hours before the Euro 2016 final.
The bomb disposal unit were called to the hotel where the French football team were staying amid fears of a security threat.
Witnesses say a ‘suspicious bag’ was spotted outside the hotel, before the area was evacuated.
Roads around the hotel were also cordoned off.
The floral-print backpack was seen on the pavement just yards from the French football team’s coach.
According to reports, there was a ‘loud bang’ outside the hotel at 5.38pm local time, which is likely to have been a controlled explosion.
Witnesses say a bomb squad officer walked up to the bag before laying a cable back to his van and blowing up the bag.
Around an hour later, the road around the area was reopened.
French law enforcement authorities yesterday said there would be ‘extremely high’ security in Paris for today’s European Championship final, with thousands of police patrolling as hundreds of thousands of fans mass in the French capital for the match.
Security forces have three key venues to protect when France plays Portugal, including the Stade de France stadium hosting the final — outside of which three suicide bombers blew themselves up last year, the 92,000-capacity fan zone in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and the Champs-Elysees boulevard, which will likely be swamped with fans after the match.
Mathias Vicherat, the Paris Mayor’s chief of staff, said some 1,900 police and other security officers would patrol the fan zone, while the city’s police chief, Michel Cadot, said 3,400 officers would patrol the Champs-Elysees, some of them redeployed from the stadium and fan zone after the final kicks off.
Meticulous security preparations began long before the tournament and included an exercise in March in which officials simulated an attack involving a chemical bomb at an open-air screening of a match, with thousands of spectators.
France has mobilized some 90,000 security agents around stadiums, fan zones and streets to keep fans safe.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has also kept his ministry’s crisis room open throughout the tournament to help monitor events and coordinate responses should action be necessary.