'Explosive devices' sent to Hillary Clinton and Obama

                     (Photo Courtesy: Google Image)

New Delhi, Oct 24: The United States Secret Service on Wednesday announced that it has intercepted and proactively detonated two "suspicious packages" addressed to former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.US news network CNN also announced Wednesday that it had evacuated its New York bureau over a suspicious package.New York police said it has sent officers to the Time Warner Center, where the CNN bureau is located, to investigate reports of a suspicious package.The secret service said it had intercepted two "suspicious packages" addressed to Obama and Clinton on Wednesday.Neither Obama nor Clinton received the packages or were at risk of receiving them, it said.The packages were discovered during "routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the agency said in a statement."Both packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to their intended location. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them," the statement said.Officials "proactively detonated" the device, and determined that it contained explosive powder and "had the components of a bomb," it said.The package intended for Obama was intercepted in Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning, and the one intended for Clinton was addressed to her in Westchester County, New York, on Tuesday.Following the interception of suspicious packages, the Secret Service has initiated a full scope criminal investigation.The FBI said the package intended for the former first lady and secretary of state Clinton was found in the vicinity of her residence in Chappaqua, New York, but offered no additional comment, citing the ongoing investigation.The Clintons have lived in Chappaqua, about 48 km north of New York City, since former President Clinton left office in 2001.Representatives for the Clintons referred press inquiries to the Secret Service, and a spokeswoman for Obama did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Earlier this week, a suspicious package targeting billionaire investor and major Democratic donor George Soros was discovered and rendered safe. Authorities are investigating whether there are any connections between the three packages, CNN reported.A senior White House officials told NBC News that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the situation.The White House said it condemned the "attempted violent attacks.""We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement."These terrorising acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards," she said.

PTI