NBC News and news services
updated 10/5/2005 9:49:04 AM ET 2005-10-05T13:49:04

Entrances to the White House from Pennsylvania Avenue, a historic Washington thoroughfare, were briefly closed on Wednesday due to a suspicious package.

Staff already inside were told to remain in the building and the shutdown lasted about 20 minutes.

U.S. Secret Service officers on the scene said the incident was prompted by the discovery of a suspicious package that had been slid under a White House fence near northeast gate.

Officers had yet to describe what was found in the package.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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