Two suspicious packages bound for the United States from Yemen apparently contained explosive material, Barack Obama, the US president, has said.

The packages were stopped in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom on Friday.

Obama said the packages were bound for "two places of Jewish worship in Chicago" and that they represented a "credible terrorist threat" to the US.

Earlier, security officials had said that they believed the parcels had been sent as a "dry run" for a possible attack on the United States.

Initial reports suggested that the packages, which were being sent via the shipping agencies UPS and Fedex, did not contain any explosives, but this was contradicted by Obama's statement "to update the American people".

Source: Al Jazeera