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Asylum-seeker's thank you package for Merkel triggers police raid

Two asylum-seekers tried to send a thank you package addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel and ended up triggering a police response. Germany is on edge over the threat of terrorism.

German police raided a gas station on Tuesday after two asylum-seekers dropped off a package addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The father and son, who the "Rhein Zeitung" newspaper reported came from Iran, dropped off a package packed in banana boxes at a local gas station that doubles as a post office. The gas station attendant was suspicious of the package and called the police in the town of Naunheim in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Nine officers responded to the scene with a sniffer dog but found no sign of explosives.

"The gas station employee was suspicious in light of incidents in recent weeks," a police spokesperson told DPA news agency, referring to an attack this month at a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people.

Police searched for the father and son to have them open the package. Inside was a wooden sculpture depicting a woman between the Syrian and German flags. The father had carved the sculpture to show solidarity with Germany.

"My father had made the sculpture for Angela Merkel, for Germany, as a thank you that we are able to be here," the son told the "Rhein-Zeitung."

The father and son were asked to take the sculpture with them.

"We would still like to send the sculpture to the chancellor. But at the moment we don't know how to get it to her," the son said.

cw/sms (Rhein-Zeitung, Tageschau, dpa)

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