Angela Merkel’s office sealed after receiving suspicious package

Published January 6th, 2016 - 09:13 GMT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under fire by right-wing groups for her open-border policy for admitting refugees. (AFP/File)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under fire by right-wing groups for her open-border policy for admitting refugees. (AFP/File)

The office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been sealed off due to a suspicious package, a police spokesman said today.

It is not known if Merkel is in the building in downtown Berlin, but it has not been evacuated and the Chancellor is due to lead a regular Cabinet meeting Wednesday morning.

Photographs from the scene show four plastic yellow postal crates in the cordoned off area outside the main entrance of the German Federal Chancellery. 

Federal police spokesperson Thorsten Peters confirmed that they are 'investigating a suspicious package', and that the main entrance to the chancellery is closed off.

The Chancellery in Berlin is one of the largest government headquarters in the world, and although it has a semi-official 'Chancellor apartment', Merkel lives in a private flat at a separate location.

Merkel has come under fire over her open border policy on migration, which has seen Germany welcome 1.1million refugees and migrants this year - more than any other EU country.

Yesterday, a number of right wing political parties rounded on the Chancellor after 1,000 men of 'Arab and North African origin' were said to have carried out a wave of sexual assaults in Cologne.

German police are hunting for the men, who are accused of rape and numerous sexual assaults at Cologne's main train station, next to the city's famous cathedral on New Year's Eve.

About 90 women have reported being raped, robbed, threatened or sexually molested at the New Year's celebrations by young, mostly drunk, men, police said Tuesday.  

The incident has stirred strong emotions in Germany and has fuelled calls by right-wing groups to halt the admission of immigrants.

The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has gained in polls in part at Merkel's expense thanks to a campaign against refugees, said she should close the border. 

By Sara Malm


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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