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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Evacuated Amid Bomb Scare

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Amsterdam Schiphol airport was immediately evacuated after officials received a bomb alert.

Late night Tuesday, April 12, throngs of people were asked to evacuate the airport to allow military personnel to secure the area. Heavily armed special military police were seen cordoning and roving the main plaza of the airport as anxious passengers awaited further announcement.

After a 4-hour lockdown, military police spokesperson Alfred Ellwanger announced that the airport is safe and free from any bombs. One man was arrested in relation to the incident but Ellwanger said that the bomb disposal squad did not find anything suspicious inside the man's belongings.

Ellwanger added that police was alerted when they received a report of a suspicious situation around 9:30 p.m. The cause of the alert is still unknown and Ellwanger said they are still investigating the incident.

Ministry of Justice and Security spokesperson Lodewijk Hekking said that another person was arrested at the Leiden Centraal railway station, about 20 minutes from Schiphol, but police cannot confirm or deny if it is related to the airport incident.

Although no flights were canceled or delayed, passengers are still concerned about the incident, which came weeks after the Brussels airport bombing that killed 32 individuals.

Schiphol airport officials released a statement in their Twitter account that operations will be back to normal.

Dutch police are still on heightened alert following ISIS attacks and activities in the region. Just last month, a raid in a Rotterdam flat resulted in the arrest of suspected terrorist Anis Bahri and the recovery of 99 pounds of ammunition. The bombs were apparently connected to the thwarted France attack.

The incident fueled more European airports to beef up their security. In Belgium, nuclear facilities are also heavily guarded. Belgian officials have about 140 soldiers that are stationed to patrol the nuclear plants.

Schiphol, about 10 miles southwest of central Amsterdam, is among Europe's busiest airports that cater to more than 50 million passengers annually.

Photo: Andrew Nash | Flickr

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