Thursday Sep 13, 201210:29 PM GMT
US consulate in Berlin evacuated over false alarm
Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:28PM
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Workers in protective clothing in the courtyard of the U.S. consulate in Berlin.

 

The U.S. consulate in Berlin was evacuated as a precaution Thursday after an employee reported a strange smell from an envelope, but police said no dangerous materials were found in a sweep of the building.

 

The smell came from an envelope containing supporting materials for a visa application that was given to consular employees by the applicant in person, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Ruth Bennett said.

 

Police experts checked the building to see if any chemical substances or poisonous gases had been released but nothing was found, police spokesman Michael Merkle told n-tv television.

 

Bennett said she had no immediate information on the status of the person who brought the envelope in, and Merkle would not comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

 

The U.S. Embassy is located downtown but the consulate is in the southwestern Zehlendorf suburb. Huffington Post

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

An employee at the visa section had reported breathing difficulties and a metallic taste in her mouth after opening a passport handed to her by a male visitor, believed to be Albanian, police said. Chicago Tribune

 

The alarm came amid attacks on U.S. embassy and consulate buildings across the Middle East. Chicago Tribune

 

Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and pulled down the American flag during a protest over what they said was a film produced in the United States that insulted the Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said. Huffington Post

 

This is while the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three American members of his staff were killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Mohammad, Libyan officials said Wednesday. LA Times

 

Angry demonstrators [in Cairo] continued their protest at the U.S. mission for the second consecutive day against a controversial film mocking Islam and its Prophet, vowing escalation on Friday unless the U.S. government offered a formal apology. Ahram Online

 

Elsewhere, hundreds of Yemeni demonstrators stormed the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, the Capital of Yemen on Thursday in protest at a film [which was] blasphemous to Islam. Reuters

 

U.S. embassies in at least seven countries in the Middle East, Africa and the Caucasus are warning of possible anti-American protests following the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Huffington Post

 

ISH/SM

 

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