All-clear given after security alert at White House entrance

(Reuters) - The U.S. Secret Service cleared Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House earlier on Monday and closed one of its gates for more than an hour after a bomb-sniffing dog alerted them to a car in a nearby garage.

A USSS spokesman later said the all-clear was given at 9:20 a.m. EDT, indicating there was no danger posed.

Pedestrians had earlier been told by the Secret Service and U.S. Park Police that the area was closed. White House staff and journalists were not allowed through the northwest gate at the White House but some personnel were allowed to use the east gate.

The closure of Pennsylvania Avenue, which is open only to pedestrian traffic and official vehicles on the White House block, came after a bomb-sniffing dog alerted officers to a car parked in the garage of the nearby New Executive Office Building, a Secret Service spokesman said.

District of Columbia police were examining the car.

Earlier, authorities had said the closure was prompted by an unattended package.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Doina Chiacu andBernadette Baum)


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