Tourist have been evacuated from Mont-Saint-Michel in France after a visitor said he 'wanted to kill police officers'.
The suspect made the threats after getting off a shuttle bus at the Normandy beauty spot at around 7.45am local time today. Officers have closed the site and are still searching for the suspect.
He is believed to be between 20 and 30-years-old and was captured on CCTV trying to carry out a street performance, but became angry after getting into an argument with a passer-by.
An anti-terror operation is in place but officers on the scene believe he could have escaped after failing to find him several hours later.
Large crowds were evacuated or turned away from the popular tourist attraction this morning as the national gendarme service arrived and helicopters flew overhead.
House-to-house searches were carried out in the surrounding area with hotel guests also evacuated.
The few permanent residents on the island were told to stay inside and religious services for the day cancelled, according to French media reports.
Around 100 people remain in the vicinity, waiting for the results of the police swoop.
'We wanted to go the mass at the abbey. But now we can't,' said Clotilde, a 23-year-old from Paris who arrived Sunday morning.
Her friend Claire said, 'We saw people walking back but we wanted to see as much as we could. So we tried to try to see it anyway but we were told to go back.'
The head of the regional administration, Jean-Marc Sabathe, told Francetvinfo the man made the threat when he was trying to stage a street performance and got in an argument with a cafe worker. He said the man was caught on video surveillance cameras.
'I am ordering house-by-house searches to verify if the individual is still on Mont-Saint-Michel.
'It's possible that the individual left the Mont with the flux of tourists,' Sabathe said.
The site is one of the most visited in France, with several thousand tourists a day.
The abbey, whose origins date to the 10th century, and surrounding sites attract large crowds throughout the year.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.