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US State Dept says mortar shell brought to Moscow airport ‘posed no threat’ to passengers – report

A mortar shell found in the luggage of a US embassy employee at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Saturday posed no danger to any passengers, an anonymous US State Department representative told Russia’s TASS news agency. The official said the American authorities were aware of the case but that “the matter was settled,” as the man in question was allowed to leave Russia for New York once the object was removed from his luggage. A bomb squad was called but it turned out that there was no explosive compound inside the object. The State Department official told TASS that it was not hazardous “for any of the passengers.” The embassy worker explained that he had bought the empty mortar shell for his “private collection,” according to sources in Moscow. Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry has described the incident as “a provocation.”