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KIIS FM Reporter Caught Up In Bomb Scare In NYC

The Time Warner Centre in New York City, which houses CNN’s offices, has been given the all clear for the second time in a row following the discovery of two suspicious packages.

“As a precaution, the NYPD is currently evaluating a pair of unattended packages at the Time Warner Center Mall, Columbus Circle in Manhattan,” said the New York City Police Department on Twitter shortly after 8pm local time.

KIIS FM’s reporter Elana McIntyre is currently on the scene in New York and has said that hundreds of people have been evacuated from the shops and offices.

“We are standing outside the Time Warner Centre in NYC. CNN is upstairs, there are shops underneath,” said Ms McIntyre. “It’s the same building that was evacuated yesterday, when the bomb was sent to CNN.

“NYPD cleared the scene at 8:45 - we were pushed out of H and M about an hour prior.”

This comes as federal agents have begun searching a US mail facility near Miami in the race to find who sent out 10 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of US President Donald Trump as leads pointed to Florida as the packages’ possible origin.

Investigators treated the devices as "live" explosives, not a hoax, said James O'Neill, the police commissioner of New York City, where two of the packages have turned up since Wednesday.

A federal law enforcement source told Reuters the devices were thought to have been fashioned from bomb-making designs widely available on the internet.

Investigators believe the packages, which were intercepted before reaching their intended recipients, went through the US Postal Service at some point, that source said.

None detonated and no one has been hurt. No one has claimed responsibility.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in an interview with Fox News Channel, confirmed at least some of the packages were mailed in Florida.

A bomb squad examined a mail distribution centre in Opa-Locka, near Miami, where authorities believe several of the packages were processed.

Miami-Dade County Police said their bomb squad was a precautionary measure and worked alongside federal authorities.

Authorities have branded the parcel bombs as an act of terrorism.

The first package surfaced on Monday at the Westchester County, New York, home of billionaire financier George Soros, a leading donor to the Democratic Party and various liberal causes.

On Wednesday, the FBI identified five more targets - former president Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former attorney-general Eric Holder, former CIA director John Brennan, and California Representative Maxine Waters. Two packages were found addressed to her.

Brennan's package was sent in care of the Manhattan bureau of CNN, where he has appeared as an on-air analyst.

On Thursday, the investigation widened with the discovery of three additional packages - two intended for former vice-president Joe Biden in his home state of Delaware and one for Hollywood actor Robert De Niro in Manhattan.

The bombs have heightened an already contentious campaign season for the November 6 elections in which Trump's Republican Party will try to maintain majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Democrats have seized on the episode as a symptom of the harsh rhetoric Trump wields against his rivals.

Most of the intended recipients were high-profile Democrats and all were known to be outspoken critics of Trump, foils for his political rhetoric or both.

At a Wisconsin rally on Wednesday night Trump, who has denounced news media organisations as an "enemy of the people", called attention to "how nice I'm behaving tonight" but on Thursday he attacked the media again.

"A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News," Trump tweeted.

"It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!"

With AAP. 

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