Jamaican News

Man throws ‘suspicious package’ over wall of US Embassy in Jamaica a week before Obama visit

By David McFadden


US Embassy Shutdown in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica _ Heavily armed Jamaican soldiers and police took positions around the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday after a man hurled a “suspicious package” over the building’s wall.

The incident came just over a week before President Barack Obama is due to visit Jamaica on April 9 ahead of the Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Embassy public affairs counsellor Joshua Polacheck said a person threw the “suspicious package” over the wall Wednesday morning, leading officials to close the facility to visitors for several hours. The man who pitched the parcel was detained by police.

The embassy reopened to visitors around noon after police said they examined the contents of the package and found no threat. Authorities declined to disclose what was in the package.

Deputy Police Commissioner Clifford Blake told reporters that the man was being questioned. Blake said the man “spoke with an American accent,” but his identity and other details were not released.

During the morning hours, a few hundred onlookers and visa applicants gathered across the street from the Kingston embassy as security forces positioned themselves around the complex.

While in Jamaica, Obama is scheduled to meet heads of the Caribbean Community group for discussions on security, trade and other topics. The last sitting U.S. president to visit the Caribbean island was Ronald Reagan in 1982.

Jamaican National Security Minister Peter Bunting said Wednesday he was satisfied with the progress of security arrangements being put in place by island authorities and the U.S. Secret Service.


David McFadden on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmcfadd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *