Norway evacuates U.S. embassy area in false alarm

OSLO Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:51am EDT

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OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian police evacuated part of Oslo's downtown on Tuesday in what turned out to be a false alarm after finding a suspicious package under a car at the U.S. embassy.

Police, who had been criticized for reacting too slowly when gunman Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb last year before going on a killing rampage, cordoned off an area 500 meters (550 yards) around the embassy, evacuating buildings and calling dozens of emergency vehicles to the scene.

"We examined a suspicious package which turned out to be harmless," police said. "Everything has returned to normal."

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)