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It Was Just a Case of Mistaken Identity

United Press International

News reports of terrorist attacks apparently have spooked the Duluth police, who ordered the bomb squad to blow up a suspicious looking briefcase that belonged to a city councilman.

Councilman M. George Downs left his briefcase unattended Monday when he went across the street from the City Hall to have supper. He placed it along a wall near a monument to a Civil War hero.

An unidentified person called City Hall maintenance to report that a briefcase was partially concealed adjacent to a wall. A maintenance person then called police.

The Police Department bomb squad, suspicious of the circumstances, took the briefcase outside, attached an explosive device to it and blew it up, a police dispatcher said.

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“I thought I’d leave my briefcase in the City Hall and get it when I came back,” Downs said. “The next thing I know, I’m eating supper and the city clerk tells us not to come back because there’s a bomb scare over there.

“Boy, did they blast it to pieces.”

Police tried to recover the remains of the papers Downs had carefully placed in his briefcase, but to no avail. Downs said he was glad he decided at the last minute not to include his income tax forms in the case.


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