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Area in front of White House reopened after being cleared

A worker cleans a sidewalk outside the White House in Washington March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
A worker cleans a sidewalk outside the White House in Washington March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Park Police and Secret Service officers reopened an area in front of the White House on Friday evening after briefly closing it due to an unattended package that had been left in front of the presidential building, according to a Reuters eyewitness.

At around 8 p.m., officers moved pedestrians away from Pennsylvania Avenue, the street in front of the White House, and Lafayette Park, which faces the building. A package that looked like a small black backpack had been left near the railings that separate the White House grounds from the street, the witness reported.

The authorities reopened the area after examining the item and returning it to its owner, the witness said.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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