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Dow Jones Newswires: China Says Tests On 2 Suspicious Letters Rule Out Anthrax

October 24, 2001 |  

October 23, 2001

BEIJING (AP)--Tests on two suspicious letters sent to companies in Beijing found no anthrax, China's police ministry said Tuesday.

The government says the two letters were intercepted last week. One, received by a Chinese employee at a U.S. firm, contained publicity about the banned Falun Gong spiritual group, [...] the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

The other letter was received by a Chinese company, the Ministry of Public Security said. Both firms are based in the Chinese capital but don't want to be identified by name, said a ministry spokeswoman, who gave only her surname, Lu.

Police received test results on the letters Monday, she said.

"It's not anthrax," she said.

China has ordered more mail checks and rigorous inspections of luggage of international airline passengers, in the wake of September's terror attacks in the U.S.

[...]

Falun Gong said it suspected that Chinese authorities were trying to use fears of anthrax to smear the movement, which China outlawed in 1999 and calls an [slanderous term omitted].

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