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US Consulate in Milan evacuated after bomb threat

A building housing the U.S. Consulate in Milan and other offices was temporarily evacuated Tuesday evening after the diplomatic mission received a letter containing a bomb threat, police said.

An officer in Italy's anti-terrorism squad said the letter carried a symbol frequently used in the past by Italian anarchists.

The officer said police inspected the building after staff members were evacuated and that no members of the public appeared to be there at the time. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations.

Later, the building's tenants were allowed to go back inside after the alarm was called off. Several Italian radio stations have offices in the same building and also were temporarily evacuated.

As a precaution, a nearby subway stop was temporarily closed during rush hour as a precaution but later was reopened.

Police denied Italian news reports that suspicious luggage also had been found at the consulate.

Earlier in the day, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, referring to recent U.S. warnings of a high risk of an attack by al-Qaida, said that Italy had reduced operations at some of its diplomatic missions in response to what she had called `'substantial threats."