US Capitol building briefly on lockdown, all-clear given

WASHINGTON -  Police briefly placed the US Capitol building and visitors centre on lockdown on Friday amid news reports of a person possibly carrying a firearm, but the order was swiftly lifted.

The House Sergeant at Arms, responsible for security at the US Congress, confirmed the lockdown to AFP, but did not give a reason for the move.

Earlier reports stated that police were looking for a female who is possibly armed and in the basement of the US House office building.

Capitol police had ordered staff and visitors in the Capitol building and the adjacent visitor centre to immediately take cover and to stay away from external doors and windows, a Senate statement said.

The all-clear announcement was made shortly thereafter.