Blast hits British Consulate in New York

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Two small explosions outside the British Consulate in New York caused slight damage to the building early today but no one was injured.

The explosions occurred about 3.50am (8.50am BST) and apparently originated in or near a cement flower box outside the consulate in midtown Manhattan, said police department spokesman Noel Waters.

NYPD said they believe there were two devices but one explosion.

A spokesman said they were piecing together shrapnel at the scene and it appeared that two "novelty" devices were involved. One was the size and shape of a pineapple and the second was the size and shape of a lemon and they detonated within a minute of each other.

There was damage to the building's front door and a window. The department's bomb squad was at the scene.

The blasts occurred as the UK voted in a General Election dominated by anger over the Iraq war.

The Foreign Office said there are no provisions for Britons to vote at overseas consulates.