July 19, 2014 / 1:42 PM / in 3 years

Man triggers security alert in Geneva by stopping tram

GENEVA (Reuters) - A man who set off a security alert in Geneva on Saturday when he stopped a tram to retrieve bags that included a book with a radical Islamist image in it appears to have been drunk, police said.

Police detained the man and closed off part of the downtown area while a bomb disposal unit inspected his shopping bags but found nothing specific aside from the book, Geneva police spokesman Christophe Fortis told Reuters.

“He is being questioned now at the police station,” he said.

Fortis gave no details about the suspect but said he had a very high level of alcohol in his blood.

He said the man had got off a tram with some bags but left more bags behind and the tram drove off before he could fetch them. He then forced the tram to stop on its way back, setting off the alert, Fortis said.

The alert coincided with a demonstration against Israel’s assault on Gaza that drew some 300 protesters to the front of the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva.

Reporting by Marina Depetris and Tom Miles; Writing by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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