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NORAD evacuated after suspicious packages found

Officials say the packages were removed but are still undergoing tests. The evacuation lasted about 4 1/2 hours.

By Associated Press / March 8, 2013

A visitor to the Cheyenne Mountain Operations center walks into the facility past a 3 foot thick, 25 ton blast door in Colorado Springs, Co., in 2004. Cheyenne Mountain is the command center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD.

Rick Wilking/AP

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado

An evacuation order has been lifted at the headquarters of a joint U.S.-Canadian after five suspicious packages were removed.

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Officials say employees became suspicious of the packages because something looked "out of place." They declined to elaborate.

Officials say NORAD's control room team was working at a backup location several miles away when the building was evacuated Thursday morning and no essential operations were disrupted.

The evacuation lasted about 4 1/2 hours.

Officials say the packages were removed but are still undergoing tests.

NORAD is short for North American Aerospace Defense Command. The joint U.S.-Canadian command defends the skies over both nations.

A backup control room in Cheyenne Mountain is in use because of renovations at the headquarters building.

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