The United States angrily accused the Soviet Union on Friday of placing several listening devices in the U.S. Consulate in Leningrad and said the American people resented "such hostile attempts at intelligence gathering."

The allegation was leveled by the State Department in a brief notice to the press. It said the listening devices were discovered in early February during an inspection."Such hostile attempts at intelligence gathering, however long ago they may have been initiated, are deeply resented by the American people," the department said it had told the Soviets in a protest.

The devices in the consulate - which was opened in 1973 - were discovered by security officers from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the statement said.

According to a U.S. official, the devices were implanted "deep in the structure a long time ago."