Spanish media group headquarters evacuated after false alert

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish media group Prisa, publisher of the country's most widely-read newspaper El Pais, evacuated its Madrid headquarters Wednesday after receiving a suspect package that was later found not to be dangerous, a spokesman said.

Police ordered the evacuation after a man delivered the package around two hours after an attack on the offices of a satirical weekly in Paris that left 12 people dead, said El Pais' communications director Pedro Zuazua.

Security guards became suspicious because the man refused to take the package to a rear entrance and insisted on leaving it at the main entrance, he said.

After the man left the building, the guards passed the package through a scanner and saw it contained cables and called police who evacuated the roughly 300 people who were in the building at the time.

"There obviously was concern given what happened in Paris," said Zuazua.

About two hours later, staff were allowed back into the building after police determined the package was not dangerous.

"It was a false alarm. There was a bottle with some sort of liquid and other material that posed no danger," El Pais' chief editor Antonio Cano told journalists.

"Security cameras have an image of the person. This episode alarmed us more because it happened just after we learned of the attack in Paris which is a terrible escalation of terrorism in Europe."

Prisa owns sports daily AS and business daily Cinco Dias in addition to El Pais, as well news radio Cadena Ser.

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