PARIS – Thousands of people, many disabled or ailing, were evacuated Sunday from the shrine at Lourdes in southern France after a bomb threat on the Catholic holy day of Assumption.
Some 30,000 pilgrims were at the site in the foothills of the Pyrenees late morning when Lourdes police received a threat saying a bomb would hit the site Sunday afternoon, said shrine spokesman Pierre Adias.
Police ordered everyone evacuated, and explosives experts were sent to scour the area. The pilgrims were told to leave just as the midday Mass was meant to begin. "The shrine is currently empty," Adias told The Associated Press by telephone.