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German President Joachim Gauck Receives Suspected Letter Bomb

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BERLIN — German authorities on Friday destroyed a letter addressed to the country's president that was suspected of containing explosives, but the scare turned out to be a false alarm.

A spokesman for President Joachim Gauck's office said the letter was found during routine checks on mail Friday morning. Experts then decided to carry out a controlled detonation of the letter in the park outside the president's Bellevue palace in downtown Berlin.

The Interior Ministry said several hours later, however, that investigators found no explosives.

The presidential office spokesman said there was never any danger to Gauck, Germany's largely ceremonial head of state, who wasn't at the premises at the time. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department rules.

It wasn't immediately clear where the letter came from.

In 2010, a mail bomb was intercepted at Chancellor Angela Merkel's office – part of a spate of parcel bombings for which a Greek anarchist group claimed responsibility.

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