Varsities evacuated over suspicious packages

LONDON: Police evacuated buildings at two British universities on Wednesday after receiving reports of suspicious packages, a day after parcel bombs were sent to two airports and London’s busiest train station.
Police in eastern England said they had put a cordon in place at the University of Essex and evacuated some buildings after receiving a call about a suspect package. The bomb squad had been called in.
In Scotland, the University of Glasgow also said several buildings had been shut and classes cancelled after a suspicious package was found in the mailroom.
Police had advised the buildings should be closed for the rest of the day but no further information was available on the nature of the package.
Police said they were investigating the packages, one of which was found in the university’s mailroom.
“At this stage there is nothing to link these incidents,” the police said.
“Under advice from Police Scotland, a number of buildings on the main university campus have been evacuated as a precautionary measure after a suspicious package was found in the university’s mailroom,” the university tweeted earlier.
It said police advised later that nine sites at the university should remain closed throughout Wednesday.
Staff were also evacuated from the RBS head office building in Edinburgh’s Gogarburn area following another report of a suspicious package.
On Tuesday, counter-terrorism police in London investigated three suspected letter bombs found at offices servicing London City Airport, Heathrow Airport and the city’s Waterloo railway station.
It was not immediately known if the incidents in Scotland were linked to those in London.
The Metropolitan Police said the three packages found in London appeared to contain “small improvised explosive devices” capable of igniting a small fire if opened.
Irish police said that they were “assisting the Metropolitan police with their enquiries,” amid unconfirmed media reports that the three packages were sent from Dublin. — Reuters/dpa