Suspicious packages sent to foreign missions in Australia

Australian police are investigating suspicious packages found at foreign consulates and embassies in Melbourne and Canberra.

Police, fire crews and ambulances were seen at a number of diplomatic offices in Melbourne, including those of India, Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea.

Suspicious packages have been delivered to the British Consulate and other embassies in Melbourne and Canberra, Australian police said.

Victoria Police said there was no threat to the public: "At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community".

Staff were initially evacuated from some of the affected buildings, which were placed on temporary lock down, but were allowed to return later on Wednesday afternoon.

It's reported the packages have various descriptions mentioning "asbestos" and "wear mask". The husband of the Swiss honorary consul in Melbourne told the Australia Post a similar story.

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".

"The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated".

The NZ consulate was one of at least seven global consulates evacuated after multiple suspicious packages were found, in what officials labelled a "hazardous material" event.

VicEmergency says they are responding to hazardous material reports at Bourke St, Market St, Middleton Lane, Albert Rd, Queens Rd and St Kilda Rd.

A suspicious packet containing a hazardous chemical was received at the Pakistani consulate in Melbourne, Australia, on Wednesday, ARY News reported.

"Staff were evacuated from the Consulate as a precautionary measure", a spokesperson said. She has been quarantined for treatment, the sources said.

Reuters adds: Police in Australia are investigating suspicious packages sent to a wide range of embassies and consulates on Wednesday, which officials said included the us and British missions in Melbourne.

US Consulate General Melbourne; 7.

"The Australian Federal Police and Melbourne Fire Department are investigating".

Vanessa Coleman

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