British police carry out controlled explosion near site of new US embassy

The new US embassy under construction in a photo made available in May 2017.
The new US embassy under construction in a photo made available in May 2017.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP)- British police carried out a controlled explosion on Wednesday (June 7) near the construction site for the new US embassy building in London after being called to a report of two unattended vehicles.

The Metropolitan Police later announced that the incident had ended and was not related to terrorism.

An AFP photographer at the scene reported seeing a dark-coloured car and a red van, both with their front windows smashed, outside the Nine Elms site near the south bank of the River Thames.

“Police were called at 4.38pm (11.38pm Singapore time) on Wednesday, June 7 to Ponton Road, Wandsworth... to a report of two unattended vehicles,” police said in a statement.

“Specialist officers are at the scene and cordons have been put in place. London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade are also in attendance.

“A controlled explosion was carried out at around 5.37 pm.”

The police later issued a further message on Twitter, saying: “The incident in #PontonRoad #Wandsworth has been stood down. This was not terrorism related.”

The US embassy is due to move from Grosvenor Square in Mayfair to the new cubic building later this year.

British police and security forces are on heightened alert following two terror attacks in recent weeks, in London on Saturday and in the northern English city of Manchester on May 22.