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Terrorist scare at famous Barcelona tourist spot 

PAGE 20 Terrorist scare at  famous Barcelona tourist spot

Barcelona’s famous Sagrada Familia basilica was at the centre of a terrorist scare just days after police stepped up security in the city amidst fears that a Christmas attack was being planned.

The Mossos d’Esquadra arrested a French citizen as he tried to enter the temple with five magazines for a nine-millimetre gun in a suitcase or backpack.

Security officers stopped him as he went through metal detectors. It is understood no gun was found though there are reports a weapon was discovered in a nearby car.

The man is claiming he was invited to a private mass after going out for shooting practice and had “forgotten” he was still carrying ammunition.

Officers with the Catalan police arrested him for illegal possession of arms.

Spanish newspapers say the ammunition was detected inside a suitcase when the detainee crossed the security arch that protects the monument.

This incident came after the Catalan police reinforced surveillance and spot checks in crowded areas of Barcelona for fear of a possible terrorist threat during the Christmas holidays. The security forces maintain the anti-terrorist alert at level 4 out of 5.