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Police in Switzerland’s capital evacuated Parliament and related offices Tuesday after a man in a bulletproof vest was arrested near one of its entrances and found to be bearing explosives.
Berne police said in a statement that in the early afternoon, “federal security staffers noticed a man at the southern entrance of the Parliament building whose appearance — he was wearing a bulletproof vest and weapon holster — and behavior were suspicious.”
“During a body check that followed, a rapid test turned up explosives,” the statement said.
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The statement did not provide any detail on the explosives.
Police vehicles are parked in front of the Swiss Parliament after a man wearing a bulletproof vest was found near the entrance of the building with explosives. (Manuel Lopez/Keystone via AP)
The suspect, who was not identified, was undergoing physical and mental exams, the statement said. Federal prosecutors and police opened a criminal investigation. There was no immediate indication about a possible motive.
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Police cordoned off Federal Square outside the ornate parliament building and nearby streets for several hours as they dispatched security teams — including fire squads and de-mining experts, backed by a police dog and drones — to inspect an abandoned car that had been associated with the suspect.
Security measures were lifted after it turned out that the vehicle presented no danger, the police statement said.
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Switzerland has rarely had any run-ins with extremist violence, but the federal police has regularly warned of the threat.