WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Police blocked off streets around the Capitol on Thursday after discovering a suspicious metal cylinder near the domed landmark that houses the Senate and House of Representatives.

There was no word on whether the cylinder contained explosive material.

Bomb squad officers, who used a remote-control robot to inspect the object, planned to transport it under police escort to a facility in Virginia where they could render it "safe," according to a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police.

The cylinder was discovered near the reflecting pool at the foot of Capitol Hill during the morning commuter rush.

(Reporting by David Morgan; editing by Doina Chiacu)

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