Published: Sat, January 12, 2019

Police respond as 'suspicious package' sent to British consulate in Melbourne

Police respond as 'suspicious package' sent to British consulate in Melbourne

Several foreign diplomatic missions were evacuated in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Canberra on Wednesday after they received packages containing suspicious substances.

Authorities did not confirm the specific locations or intended targets of any of the packages, but the Australian federal police confirmed it was investigating and would examine the packages.

The Australian Federal Police are investigating the circumstances around the packages and are working with local authorities and MFB.

A spokesman for the U.S. consulate in Melbourne told CNN that after receiving a suspicious package staff "followed standard procedures and alerted local authorities".

USA and British consulate officials confirmed to Reuters that suspicious packages had been discovered at their respective locations.

According to media, the German Consulate, a report in Melbourne affected.

The Israeli embassy in Canberra has confirmed it also received a suspicious package.

Photos put up by a journalist on Twitter showed Indian consulate staff sitting on a sidewalk outside their office while emergency service vehicles stood nearby.

State police in Melbourne said the incidents there were believed to be "targeted and not impacting the general community".

Metropolitan Fire Brigade station officer Bryan Kellett said a suspicious "envelope-sized" package was delivered to the Indian consulate last week, but that the alarm was not raised until Wednesday.

The development comes just two days after a "suspicious" white powder was found at the Argentinian Consulate in Sydney.

Other consulates in Melbourne and embassies in the capital, Canberra, that reportedly received suspicious packages included those representing the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Denmark, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Egypt.

Emergency workers wearing chemical suits were seen entering some of the buildings.

The powder, contained in clear plastic bags within an envelope, was subsequently deemed not risky.

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

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