German police destroy suspected explosive sent to president

A German police bomb squad on Friday destroyed a suspected explosive inside a letter that had been sent to the Berlin residence of President Joachim Gauck, the presidential office said.

Gauck, whose post is largely ceremonial, was not at the Bellevue residence at the time, and no staff were endangered, an office spokeswoman said.

The letter was destroyed in a controlled explosion in the grounds of the presidential palace, said Gauck's office. A sample of the substance in the letter was being tested in a police laboratory, said the spokeswoman.