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Paris police detain man behind reported bomb threat at Iran consulate

Police set up a security cordon in Paris' wealthy 16th arrondissement Friday amid reports that a man was threatening to detonate an alleged explosive belt at the Iranian consulate, but the suspect was soon detained without further incident. 

Police were questioning the man but they found no explosives on him. The area was cordoned off for several hours. The Paris prosecutor's office said later that the man issued threats while inside consulate, but then left of his own accord. 

The prosecutor said the suspect was a 60-year-old French-Iranian dual national who had tried to set fire to the same consulate last September. The man, who was not named, said at the time that it was in protest against the Iranian regime. He was convicted and handed a suspended sentence in October 2023, and banned from possessing a gun and from entering the 16th arrondissement, where the Iranian consulate is located.   

Le Parisien newspaper quoted police sources as saying an eyewitness had seen a man present himself at the door of the consulate before opening his coat to reveal what looked like a homemade explosive belt.

French police cordoned off Iranian consulate in Paris where a man is threatening to blow himself up
French police, including special forces, secure the area near an Iranian consulate in Paris, where a man was reportedly threatening to blow himself up, April 19, 2024. Benoit Tessier/REUTERS

The newspaper cited several eyewitnesses who saw the man place flags on the floor of the consulate. They recounted that he said he wanted to avenge the death of his brother. 

Police, including SWAT teams, were called to the scene to investigate and urged the public to avoid the area, and traffic on Paris' subway system was halted between stations in the area during the operation.

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