Thursday 17 April 2014

Alert over German president letter

German President Joachim Gauck has been sent a letter which was suspected of containing explosives

German authorities have destroyed a letter addressed to the country's president which was suspected of containing explosives, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

A spokesman for President Joachim Gauck's office said the letter was found during routine checks on mail on Friday morning.

Experts then decided to carry out a controlled detonation of the letter in the park outside the president's Bellevue Palace in central Berlin.

Several hours later, the Interior Ministry said investigators had found no explosives.

The presidential office spokesman said there was never any danger to Mr Gauck, Germany's largely ceremonial head of state, who was not at the premises at the time.

It was not immediately clear where the letter had come from.

In 2010, a mail bomb was intercepted at Chancellor Angela Merkel's office - part of a spate of parcel bombings for which a Greek anarchist group claimed responsibility.

Press Association

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