White House locked down in firecracker alert
The White House was locked down in a sudden security alert Monday after a man threw firecrackers over the outer fence, sparking alarm hours after a gun massacre in Washington.
A Secret Service source confirmed to AFP that the man set off firecrackers, discounting some earlier reports that shots were fired, in a incident that scrambled heavily armed security teams at the White House.
Witnesses said uniformed Secret Service officers tackled a man outside the gate soon after the incident, as reporters and staff were quickly hustled back into the White House complex.
Agents then cordoned off Lafayette Park opposite the White House, which is normally thronged by tourists in the early evening in late summer.
The US capital was already on edge after a former US naval reservist went on a shooting spree at Washington Navy yard, killing 12 people and exchanging fire with police before losing his own life.