Security officials gave the all-clear following a potential bomb threat at German Chancellor Merkel's office in Berlin. The office had been sealed off earlier after security officials had found a suspicious package.
An entrance to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chancellery in Berlin was cordoned off for several hours on Wednesday after the discovery of a number of suspicious packages there. The situation, however, turned out to be a false alarm.
The AFP news agency specified that the affected area had been around the main entrance to the building intended for vehicular traffic. The German DPA news agency reported that bomb disposal experts had arrived on the scene after a sniffer dog had reportedly alerted security officials at 8:30 a.m. local time (7:30 a.m. UTC).
"The experts found nothing suspicious," a spokesman for Germany's Federal Police said.
DPA said that the discovery of the packages had occurred in the course of routine checks conducted on incoming parcel deliveries in the morning. An eyewitness had told Reuters that there were four plastic postal crates in the sealed-off area.
AFP reported that inside the chancellery, business continued as usual. A cabinet meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. local time (0830 UTC) went ahead as originally planned. No one was evacuated from the building.
One day earlier, the chancellor had welcomed more than 100 children at the building for a traditional blessing performed each year on the January Christian holiday of Epiphany.
ss/se (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)