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Threatening call prompts evacuations, bomb search at Harvard

CAMBRIDGE Mass. (Reuters) - A call from a man claiming to have an assault rifle at Harvard University and to have planted bombs there prompted police on Saturday to evacuate several buildings at the campus and launch a search for explosives, but the area was later declared safe, authorities said.

The Ivy League school sent an email to students saying it had received the call from an unidentified male. Four buildings, including the Science Center, were immediately evacuated and Cambridge, Massachusetts, police were brought in to investigate, authorities said.

Investigators did not find any evidence that a man had been on the campus with an assault rifle, Cambridge Police spokesman Jeremy Warnick said. They discovered one suspicious-looking package, a black box packed in bubble wrap, but it contained no explosives, he said.

“The bottom line is we have not identified anything that is a threat to the general public," Warnick said.

Police remained on the campus to make sure nothing had been overlooked in their initial search. "It is purely precautionary at this point,” he said.

Harvard later sent an email to students saying the evacuated buildings had been reopened and the campus was safe.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Barber in Cambridge and Jim Finkle in Boston; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Leslie Adler)

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