Bomb scare forces Paris fair’s evacuation


A bomb scare forced the evacuation of the Paris Book Fair, which was being held amid boycott calls for honoring Israeli writers.

Attendees on Sunday were asked to leave the Porte de Versailles exhibition complex in southern Paris at 5 p.m. local time, Paris police officials said. French radio reported that other fairs taking place at the complex also had been evacuated.

Paris police confirmed that participants were allowed back into the indoor fair an hour after being evacuated.

A fair spokesperson told the Associated Press that security was tightened this year, due in part to the decision to honor Israel.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, under tightened security, had inaugurated the event last Thursday night.

“Those who want to burn books, boycott wisdom, prevent reflection, block liberty, condemn themselves to blindness,” he said.

Arab nations called for a boycott of the fair, which invited 39 Israeli authors.

In late February, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization asked its 50 member nations not to attend the event. Countries such as Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia backed the boycott.



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