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NATO Says Anthrax Alert Harmless

February 21, 2006

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ A white powder that caused an anthrax alert at a NATO center in Norway last week has been analyzed and found harmless, an alliance spokesman said Tuesday.

The power was received Feb. 14 in a letter sent to the NATO Joint Warfare Center at the Jaataa complex in the western town of Stavanger. It triggered an alert, including medical treatment for a civilian employee who opened the letter.

NATO spokesman Juergen Eise said police analyzed the powder and found it did not contain anthrax or other dangerous substances.

``It was completely harmless,″ he said by telephone. He said he had no information about what the powder was, but that police would issue a final report sometime later.

In a statement, the center said the envelope with about one teaspoon of white powder had been mailed from the United States in a standard priority mail package and was opened at the U.S. Medical Aid Station at Jaataa.

Several letters with suspicious powders have been received in Norway in recent years, but none has been proven to contain the deadly anthrax bacteria.

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