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NATION : Bomb Squad Gets Wrong Steer

From Times Wire Services

A congressman’s car used to haul fertilizer a few weeks ago triggered a bomb scare at the White House today.

The alert, which closed the West Wing driveway to traffic for about 50 minutes, was caused by a bomb-sniffing German shepherd who raised an alarm about Rep. Herbert Bateman’s gray Lincoln while it was parked inside the White House complex.

The Virginia Republican, with seven other congressmen, was there to brief President Bush on the group’s recent trip to the Persian Gulf.

“It was fertilizer from some azaleas hauled in the back seat a few weeks ago,” Bateman explained as he left the White House. “Great fun.”

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But the alert prompted a full shutdown of traffic in and out of the driveway while a single security official, dressed in a green helmet and bulletproof vest, carefully combed the car.


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