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False alarm after Barcelona police find no explosives in van near Sagrada Familia cathedral

Police in Barcelona say experts found no explosives after searching a suspicious van near the landmark Sagrada Familia basilica and that concern about a possible extremist attack that prompted evacuations was a false alarm.

A spokesman with the Mossos d'Esquadra regional police said two occupants being spotted in the van near the church had raised the alarm on Tuesday evening but a bomb squad did not find any explosives.

The spokesman declined to be identified by name, following the force's protocol.

Barcelona, a tourism hub in north-east Spain's Catalonia region, and a nearby coastal town were targets of extremist attacks that killed 16 people last month.

Spain has kept its anti-terrorism security warning one level below the maximum since mid-2015.

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