'Suspicious packages' found at consulates in Australia

Suspicious package sent to Indian consulate several others in Australia

Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies in Melbourne today (Wednesday, 9 January 2019).

Emergency workers had been seen at consulates belonging to the US, India, Pakistan, Greece, South Korea, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and France according to Australian broadcaster ABC News.

The police said there were ten "hazardous material" responses taking place throughout the city.

"At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community", the statement said.

Emergency services raced to a string of diplomatic facilities which had received packages containing suspected hazardous material, all within the space of a few hours.

It is not yet known which embassies in Canberra have been affected.

Consulates in the Australian capital of Canberra also received the packages, police said.

Image: Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to the British Consulate in Melbourne.

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The Metropolitan Fire Brigade is assisting Australian Federal Police, who is the lead agency in the investigation, an MFB spokeswoman said.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries to staff in the buildings.

The Vic Emergency website lists more than 10 "hazardous material" events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding from about 1pm.

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", said a British High Commission spokesperson.

The Indian and USA consulates on St Kilda Road as well as the British, Swiss and German diplomatic mission are believed to have been targeted.

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

Australian Federal Police are now examining the packages, which were delivered to consulates on St Kilda Rd and in the CBD.

Consulates of the UK, Switzerland, the United States and Pakistan are among those evacuated there. The husband of the Swiss honorary consul in Melbourne told the Australia Post a similar story.

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