Suspicious packages delivered to diplomatic missions in Australia

Suspicious packages delivered to diplomatic missions in Australia

SYDNEY: Pakistan's mission in Melbourne was among the those global consulates and embassies in Australian cities that have been sent suspicious packages containing white powder, some reportedly marked with the word "asbestos", foreign media reported.

Similar suspicious packages were also sent to several other consulates in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city, and Canberra, Australia's capital.

"The circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated".

Melbourne's Metropolitan Fire Brigade said it had been called to "a number of incidents" across the city.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Firefighters wearing Hazmat suits entered the South Korean and Indian consulates on St Kilda Road in Melbourne shortly after 2pm (local time).

The AFP said some embassies and consulates in Canberra had also been affected.

A number of consulates have been evacuated in Melbourne.

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

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The incidents come after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated on Monday after reports of a suspicious substance.

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

"It's believed to be non-hazardous, however, they're treating it as a hazardous", she said.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Italian, Japanese, Egyptian and Danish consulates also received packages.

More than a dozen hazardous material alerts have been issued on the VicEmergency website.

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

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

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

The Swiss consulate in Melbourne confirmed to CNN that a suspicious package was delivered at around 1.30 p.m. local time Wednesday (9.30 p.m. Tuesday ET), and that the police and fire services are now investigating.

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