Man with explosives arrested outside Swiss parliament

Feb 13, 2023, 10:53 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 3:16 pm
A police robot stands next to a suspicious car in front of the Swiss Parliament, the Bundeshaus in ...

A police robot stands next to a suspicious car in front of the Swiss Parliament, the Bundeshaus in Bern, during the large-scale operation of the Bern police, where several buildings were evacuated and the Bundesplatz and some streets around were widely cordoned off, on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A man wearing a bulletproof vest and weapon holster, who allegedly parked the car in the middle of the Bundesplatz near one of its entrances, was found to explosives and arrested. (Manuel Lopez/Keystone via AP)

(Manuel Lopez/Keystone via AP)

GENEVA (AP) — 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.

The statement did not provide any detail on the explosives.

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.

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.

Switzerland has rarely had any run-ins with extremist violence, but the federal police has regularly warned of the threat.

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Man with explosives arrested outside Swiss parliament