Up to 30,000 pilgrims, among them more than 700 Irish, were evacuated from Lourdes yesterday after a bomb alert closed down the French shrine on one of the busiest days of the year.
Police evacuated the shrine after receiving an anonymous telephone warning that four bombs would explode at the site at 3pm local time. Tens of thousands of people were in Lourdes yesterday to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, Belfast Telegraph reports.
‘It was a cruel hoax,’ said a police spokesman. ‘Somebody wanted to cause as much disruption as possible to people already suffering illness and handicaps.’
Pierre Adias, spokesman for Lourdes, said: ‘We have no idea who is behind this. Bomb scares are not something you associate with Lourdes.’, Daily Mail informs.