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German Chancellor Merkel's office sealed off

January 6, 2016

The office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been sealed off. News agencies reported that security officials had found a suspicious package.

Sealed-off section outside Chancellery
Image: Reuters/H. Hanschke

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Chancellery in Berlin has been cordoned off Wednesday morning due to the discovery of a number of suspicious packages there. The AFP news agency specified that the affected area was around the main entrance to the building for vehicular traffic.

"We are investigating a suspicious package," Federal Police spokesman Thorsten Peters said.

Sealed-off section outside Chancellery
The suspicious packages were found at the main entrance to the buildingImage: Reuters/H. Hanschke

"Police are still dealing with the situation," he added.

The German DPA news agency reported that bomb disposal experts had arrived on the scene even though it wasn't clear yet whether the parcels in question did pose any actual danger. A sniffer dog had reportedly alerted security officials at 8:30 a.m. local time (7:30 a.m. UTC).

Suspicious parcels found during routine checks

DPA added that the discovery had occured in the course of routine checks conducted on incoming parcel deliveries. AFP reported that inside the Chancellery, business was continuing as usual.

A cabinet meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. local time (8:30 a.m. UTC) went ahead as originally planned. AP added that no one was evacuated from the building.

There were no further details available, nor did the German government comment on the unfolding situation. An eyewitness told Reuters that there were four plastic postal crates in the sealed-off area.

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)