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Man with knife arrested outside Buckingham Palace days ahead of coronation

The suspect allegedly threw shotgun cartridges onto the palace grounds. Police in London said the arrest was not terrorism-related.

A man with a knife who threw what appeared to be shotgun cartridges onto the grounds of Buckingham Palace was arrested Tuesday, just days ahead of the coronation of King Charles III, officials said.

The suspect, whose name was not released, was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon after he was detained and searched outside the monarch's official home and administrative offices, the Metropolitan Police Service of Greater London said in a statement.

A motive was unavailable, but police said the incident was not believed to be terrorism-related. It wasn't clear whether the cartridges could be described as live ammunition. They were seized and are being examined, police said.

The area was temporarily cordoned off, and some evacuations were ordered as authorities conducted a controlled explosion "as a precaution," they said.

The coronation is scheduled for Saturday at Westminster Abbey, about 1 mile east of Buckingham Palace in London. Savannah Guthrie will anchor “NBC News Special: The Coronation of King Charles III” at 5 a.m. ET.

Image: Police at the scene outside Buckingham Palace after a man was arrested and a subsequent controlled explosion was carried out on May 2, 2023 in London.
Police outside Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday after a man was arrested and a controlled explosion was carried out.Belinda Jiao / Getty Images

Security will be enhanced, with stewards and police officers at all viewing areas and screening sites, authorities said. Although no specific threats have been reported, officials have asked that people immediately report anything unusual they see at coronation-related sites Saturday.

Security experts say protesters and "lone wolf" actors seeking attention might try to disrupt the ceremonies. Travelers to London should plan for security-related delays, they say.