Swiss police arrest man found with explosive traces near country’s parliament By Reuters

(Reuters) -Swiss police arrested a man found with traces of explosives outside the country’s parliament on Tuesday, sparking a security alert that shut down part of Bern for several hours.

The man, who has not been named, was stopped by security officers because of his suspicious behaviour and appearance early in the afternoon.

Officers were alerted after seeing the man, a 27-year-old from the Swiss canton of Valais, wearing a protective vest and a gun holster.

A rapid test also found traces of explosives, Bern police said, although they did not specify where. They declined to comment to Reuters on a possible motive.

A car linked to the man was parked on the Bundesplatz, opposite the parliament building, leading to police being called to the scene.

“Based on the knowledge already available at that time, it could not be ruled out that there were explosives in the car on the Bundesplatz and that the vehicle posed a specific risk,” Bern Police said.

“As a result, extensive security measures were implemented immediately,” they added.

The Bundesplatz and surrounding streets were sealed off, while nearby buildings including the parliament building were evacuated.

Eventually after being examined by a robot, the car was found to pose no danger, Bern police said. The emergency measures were lifted at around 7:00 pm, about five hours after being called to the scene.

The man is currently in custody with medical investigations into his physical and medical condition underway.

A criminal investigation has been launched by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General, together with police in Bern, Valais and the Swiss Federal Police.

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