Police: No bomb found in Times Square van

(AP) - A white van parked in the heart of Times Squarewith tinted windows, no license plates and a bogus law enforcementplacard was enough for the NYPD to briefly evacuate the tourist hotspot and send in a bomb squad on the day before the annual massiveNew Year's Eve celebration.

No explosive devices were found inside the van Wednesdayafternoon, and the area was reopened to traffic about two hoursafter the incident began.

Patrol officers spotted the van around 11 a.m. on Broadwaybetween 41st and 42nd streets, and counterterrorism and bomb squadcrews responded. The area was blocked off and two high-risebuildings, home to Nasdaq and publishing company Conde Nast, werepartially evacuated, but occupants were allowed back in around 1p.m.

Nasdaq said its trading was unaffected. Conde Nast was in theprocess of evacuating when the order was lifted.

There were no corresponding terror threats involving thevehicle, said chief NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne.

But police take extra care around New Year's Eve when thecelebration draws hundreds of thousands of revelers from around theworld to the heart of Times Square to see the ball drop atmidnight. Squads routinely patrol for suspicious vehicles and dosweeps in garages before the annual event.

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