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Harvard evacuates, cancels exams over bomb scare

17 December, 2013

NEW YORK: A bomb scare on Monday forced the Harvard University to evacuate four buildings, call in police and cancel final exams underway at the elite US university in the northeastern town of Cambridge.

An alert on its website announced the evacuations at the Science Center, the Thayer dormitory, the Sever classroom and lecture hall and the Emerson building, home to the philosophy department. "Please evacuate those buildings now," it said. "Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated. Harvard's focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff," it added. Police immediately scrambled to the affected buildings.

But an hour and a half after the original alert, the report remained unconfirmed and police have "no reason to believe there is a threat to any other side on campus," the university said. Harvard also tweeted that there had been "NO reports of explosions". Harvard, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, dominates the Massachusetts town of Cambridge near Boston. Harvard's Science Centre is home to the mathematics, statistics and history of science departments. The university is currently in session, going into recess on December 21.

Sam Weinstock, incoming president of student newspaper the Harvard Crimson, told CNN that final exams scheduled on Monday in three of the affected buildings had been cancelled. "Students were removed from those exams, taken to the freshman dining hall where they were told that exams would be cancelled," he said.

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