US Cairo Embassy, Consulate Evacuated over ‘Suspicious Substance’

Published October 30th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The US embassy and consulate in Cairo were evacuated Tuesday after "a suspicious substance" was found on the premises, an embassy spokesman told AFP. 

Egypt's official MENA press agency said embassy security officials had found a suspect parcel that had been posted from the United States. 

The buildings in central Cairo were immediately evacuated in what the embassy spokesman said was a "routine procedure" followed in cases of alert. 

The parcel was sent to the US Navy laboratory in Cairo for analysis, MENA said. 

This is the second such alert at the Cairo embassy since the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States and the anthrax scare that has followed. 

On October 23, one of the embassy's buildings was evacuated after a white powder, which later tested negative for anthrax, was discovered in a bathroom. 

Around 150 people were evacuated from the building that houses the consulate, administrative offices and press section after the powder was found on top of a paper towel distributor. 

Other reports of suspect substances have appeared in the local press; with most turning out to be what authorities referred to as “bad jokes.” 

In one incident, an American Express employee in Cairo was given a clean bill of health after receiving a letter containing a white powder, an Egyptian Health Ministry official said.  

However, tests revealed no trace of any harmful substances. 

The building where the American Express Giza branch is located was evacuated after the Egyptian woman, who received the letter from company offices in London, contacted the police – Albawaba.com

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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