Police have evacuated people from Madrid's Atocha train station and halted trains in and out of the busy city-center station following a bomb threat that police says was a hoax.

A police spokeswoman said a man who had threatened to set off a backpack bomb on a commuter train Friday morning was arrested but that police found no explosives in his bag. She could give no details on the man's identity.

Bomb disposal experts searched the train and tracks for possible explosives but allowed the station to be reopened shortly before midday.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations.

Atocha station was at the center of Madrid's 2004 train bombings in which 191 people were killed in one of Europe's deadliest al-Qaida-inspired terrorist attacks.

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