Barcelona's Sagrada Familia cathedral and surrounding area evacuated in anti-terrorism operation

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The iconic Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona has been stormed by police in a dramatic anti-terrorism operation.

Several streets in the area have been cordoned off and the nearest metro station has been closed.

The Catalan police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, announced the operation on Twitter.

A bomb squad has been sent to check a van parked near the tourist site, police said.

Mossos tweeted: “We have activated the service TEDAX to make checks with a van parked in the surroundings of the Sagrada Familia.”

Meanwhile nearby shops have been sealed off and police have been searching though bins.

The Sagrada Familia is one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist sites, and was one of the intended target of the terror cell that attacked the city’s Ramblas and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils on August 17.

The group switched plans when explosive material thought to have been intended for the attack was destroyed in an accidental blast.

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