Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Suspicious Packages Found At Indian Mission, Other Embassies In Australia

'Suspicious packages' found at consulates in Australia Suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra
Patty Aguilar | 09 January, 2019, 09:14

At least seven of the affected Melbourne consulates have been evacuated.

Two days before, a suspicious package containing white powder was found at the Argentine consulate in Sydney.

The Indian High Commission is located in Canberra; there were no immediate reports of the high commission being among the locations that received suspicious packages.

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

Australian police are investigating the delivery of suspicious packages sent to foreign embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra, police and embassy sources told AFP Wednesday.

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

"The packages are being examined by attending emergency services", the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

A firefighter carrries a hazardous material bag into the Korean consulate in Melbourne.

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The official said she was told by the authorities to wash her hands.

Victoria Police said they are aware of the suspicious packages, but do not believe the public should be concerned.

A spokeswoman for the service said: "We are assisting the Australian Federal Police right now with a number of incidents across Melbourne".

The metropolitan fire brigade and AFP officers attended the incidents, as did paramedics.

"We are liaising closely with the (Australian Federal Police) and the local authorities regarding the situation".

Melbourne emergency services have responded to a number of call-outs for "hazardous material" in the last hour according to the state's emergency response website, which shows a total of 17 hazardous material incidents now in progress.

There was also an alert of a hazardous material incident at Yertchuch Avenue in Ashwood, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, where the Swiss consulate is based.

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

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