Barcelona: Sagrada Familia evacuated in 'anti-terror' operation

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Tourists walk by the "Sagrada Familia" basilica in BarcelonaImage source, AFP
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The Sagrada Familia basilica is a famous attraction in Barcelona

Spanish police have evacuated and cordoned off one of Barcelona's main tourist attractions, the Sagrada Familia basilica, as part of an anti-terrorist operation.

A bomb squad was sent to check a van parked next to the church, but police later said it was a false alarm.

Nearby shops had also been evacuated as a precaution.

Last month, a series of attacks by jihadists in and around Barcelona killed 16 people.

Catalan police said on Twitter (in Catalan) that checks ruled out that the vehicle had any dangerous material.

Designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, the basilica attracts millions of tourists every year.