Downtown Oslo evacuated after fake bomb triggers alert

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 31, 2012 9:45 AM
Downtown Oslo evacuated after fake bomb triggers alert

OSLO (Reuters) - A wide section of the Norwegian capital's downtown area was evacuated on Tuesday and special forces were deployed after a suspected bomb - later found to be a training device - was found attached to a U.S. Embassy vehicle.

The fake bomb was inadvertently left on the car and triggered a security alert when it tried to go through a routine check, Oslo police said in a statement.

Police, who had been criticized for reacting too slowly when gunman Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb in July last year before going on a killing rampage, cordoned off an area 500 meters (550 yards) around the embassy.

They also evacuated buildings, shut underground rail lines and brought in heavily armed special forces.

"Our bomb squad removed the object and found that it was a practice bomb which was previously used for an internal exercise at the embassy," the police statement said.

The U.S. Embassy declined to comment.

The embassy is planning to relocate due to security reasons to the outskirts of Oslo from its current location adjacent to the royal palace and near the foreign ministry.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Angus MacSwan)