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October 22, 2005
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Bomb worry clogs traffic near U.S. Capitol, package exploded as precaution

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON- A young man told police there was a bomb in his car in front of the U.S. Capitol on Friday, and police exploded a package inside the car as a precaution, authorities said.

The man was taken to a Washington hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, while another man in the car was questioned and released, said a federal law enforcement official.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said police dismissed the idea that there actually was an explosive. Work went on as usual inside the Capitol as police cordoned off several blocks nearby.

Two young men in the car - a gray 2005 Chevrolet Impala with Florida license plates - were taken into custody, said U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Jessica Gissubel.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein declined to press charges against either man, the federal law enforcement official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Capitol police were in charge of the investigation.

Police took no chance after examining the car. A bomb squad member was seen using a mirror to examine the underside of the car. Later, police blew up whatever was in the car, causing a flash and loud noise and blowing open a back door.

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