Hundreds Rapidly Evacuate Paris' Place De La Republique in Apparent False Alarm

Panic breaks out and police break through with guns drawn in 10th arrondissement, near a small Cambodian restaurant and a bar that were the scenes of deadly Paris attack.

Police react to a suspicious vehicle near La Carillon restaurant following a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 15, 2015.
REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Hundreds of people who had been gathered at Place de la Republique in central Paris dispersed suddenly on Sunday evening in what police later said seemed to be a false alarm. 

With Parisians' nerves still on edge after Fridays shootings and suicide bombings, people suddenly all began running away from the square, a Reuters witness at the scene said. 

"There was crowd movement with apparently with no reason. We hadn't heard anything and all the people we questioned hadn't heard anything either," a police official at the square told Reuters. 

A couple embraces as they pay tribute to the victims of the attacks in and around Paris, at the Place de la Republique square in Paris, on November 14, 2015.
AFP

TV pictures that had earlier been showing people gathered around a monument to commemorate those killed in Friday's Islamist militant shootings later showed the scene nearly empty.

An official from the emergency services said some members of the public had believed they had heard gunfire. 

There was also panicked movement of crowds outside a bar that had been the scene of a shooting on Friday, and where people had gathered in vigil Sunday evening. A second police official said that had also been a false alarm. 

French police put out a photo of a fugitive in the Paris attacks on Sunday, saying the suspect is on the run and too dangerous for anyone outside law enforcement to engage directly.

TV pictures that had earlier been showing people gathered around a monument to commemorate those killed in Friday's Islamist militant shootings later showed the scene nearly empty. 

An official from the emergency services said some members of the public believed they had heard gunfire, however they had no confirmation of any shooting. 

Police identified the man suspected of renting the car that delivered attackers to the Bataclan concert hall as Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old born in Brussels. "Do not intervene yourself," warns the message issued Sunday evening .

Abdeslam is thought to be directly involved in Friday's attacks, which killed 129 people and wounded hundreds in the worst violence in France in decades, French security officials said.