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German spy agency's new home flooded after taps stolen

The soon-to-be headquarters of Germany's foreign spy agency have been partly flooded after some faucets were removed. No one was hurt, but a targeted attack cannot be ruled out.

The nearly completed building in central Berlin is to be the new headquarters of Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, which is currently based in Munich.

On Wednesday, the building suffered extensive water damage after someone tampered with the water pipes despite strict security on site. As a result, water flooded cable and air shafts and suspended ceilings for several hours, according to daily "Berliner Zeitung."

Builders apparently tried to clear residues from newly installed pipes and were surprised when the water landed on floors on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors instead of in drains, and then cascaded to lower levels, according to sources quoted by the DPA news agency.

"Several taps were stolen," on the upper floors, according to a police spokesman, but it remains unclear why or who may have removed them. Police are not ruling out a political or criminal motive. But they're also considering that someone may have simply played a practical joke. The incident sparked lots of jokes about leaks and "Watergate" on social media. This one reads "the BND wants them now - Nixon's plumbers."

The BND was scheduled to move to its new headquarters near Berlin's main station in 2011, but the move has been delayed until 2017. The building will house up to 4,000 staff.

ng/sms (Reuters, dpa)

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