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Police arrest 'suspicious man' outside US embassy in Berlin

Police have detained a young man who falsely claimed to have explosives in a suitcase outside the US embassy in Berlin. The famous Pariser Platz, where the embassy is located, was cordoned off after the incident.

The German police arrested a belligerent 23-year-old man on Friday after he claimed he was trying to bring a bomb into the US embassy in Berlin. The man acted suspiciously near the embassy premises, according to security officials.

The incident happened just before 7:30 a.m. local time (0625 UTC/GMT), when the man became violent after being turned away at an embassy door near the Brandenburg Gate. The man, whose identity has not been revealed by the police, allegedly tried to punch a security guard, police spokesman Jens Berger said.

"The man yelled that he had a bomb in his suitcase as German police led him away," the US Embassy's press office said after the incident. "A German bomb expert used a robot to determine that the suitcase did not contain harmful material."

Upon checking, the police found only "personal items" in it.

Police spoklesman Berger told media that "there are many indications he (the man) is psychologically disturbed." The spokesman, however, declined to comment on a "Bild" newspaper report that the man wanted to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda's former chief.

shs/msh (AP, dpa)