Paris According to a report in the International Herald Tribune, French police found a package of explosives at the Printemps department store complex in central Paris on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman at Paris police headquarters said a warning about the explosives had been sent Tuesday morning to the French news agency Agence France-Presse, which alerted the police.
A previously unknown group demanding the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan claimed to have planted the explosive devices. Officials said that five sticks of dynamite had been found.
Employees of Printemps said the store had been on high alert for several days.
The discovery of the explosives at the height of the Christmas shopping season threw the area into confusion, with traffic backed up as the police cordoned off streets around Printemps. The store, on the elegant Boulevard Haussmann in the heart of one of the French capital's main shopping districts, is packed with shoppers and tourists at this time of year.