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Christmas Bonn Market evacuated, suspicious chemicals found in packages

Police brought in experts and an explosives robot to investigate a suspicious package found at the Christmas market in the west German city of Bonn late on Friday.

Bonn police cordoned off and evacuated a large area of the market just before 9 p.m. local time, and experts were still examining the object five hours later, a spokesman said.

“We assume it’s not dangerous, but we’re still investigating,” the spokesman said. He said the object was discovered shortly before the market was to close for the evening, so it was not crowded.

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Additionally, witnesses described a Muslim in front of the post office who deposited suspicious packages in a mailbox.

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According to sources, the packages might be a major chemical find. Substances were found in about one dozen containers. The Analytical Task Force (ATF) from Cologne was called during the night. A unit which specializes in chemical analysis, usually to recognize and combat biological, chemical or radioactive threats.

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Police and firefighters were on-site with a large deployment. A robot searched the parcels for explosive materials.

A so-called “special setup entity” was called. These are setups when situations are complex and a large number of officers will be needed for an extended period of time.

Details to follow.

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