U.S. Capitol police have exploded a suspicious package in a car parked near the capitol, after closing several streets in the area in connection with a possible bomb threat.

Television images showed the blast of a small explosive device that police had planted in the car to render the package safe.  As the explosive went off, the vehicle's rear passenger door flew open, spewing smoke and some debris.  It is not yet clear whether the package actually contained any explosives.

Capitol police information officer Jessica Gissubel said two white males had told police they had a suspicious package in their car.  One of them told police it was a bomb.  The two men are now being interviewed by police. 

The U.S. Capitol and nearby Senate office buildings have not been evacuated.  The police officer said she hopes area streets will be reopened soon.  

Hazardous response teams are at the scene.