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Bomb squad checks suspicious package outside White House

Written by: Staff

WASHINGTON, Mar 22 (Reuters) Police sealed off the front gates of the White House and a bomb squad was called in today to check on what on officials said was a suspicious package left outside.

President George W Bush was not in the White House at the time, as heavily armed guards took up position on the front lawn and several police cars and a bomb squad van converged on the area.

''We have a suspicious package along the north fenceline of the White House. We are carrying out our normal security protocols,'' said Tom Mazur, spokesman for the Secret Service.

Police cleared Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and confirmed it was a suspicious package.

Members of a bomb squad were investigating and a small remote-control robot was near what appeared to be a small white package.

Reporters and camera crews were ordered inside the White House press room and could only monitor the situation by peering through the windows.

Reuters PG BD2216

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