Australia suspicious packages sent to multiple consulates and embassies


Australia suspicious packages sent to multiple consulates and embassies.

Suspicious packages have sparked a major emergency response and evacuation of some foreign consulates across Melbourne with embassies in Canberra also targeted.

Diplomatic offices in Melbourne for countries including Germany, Italy, India, Spain and Korea were among those attended by police, fire crews and ambulance officers on Wednesday afternoon.

The United States’ Melbourne-based consulate is among a number of foreign diplomatic headquarters across the city and in Canberra targeted with the suspicious packages.

The deliveries on Wednesday sparked an emergency “hazardous material” response and in some cases, evacuation.

“We handled the package according to our standard procedures and in close co- ordination, with local authorities … who are investigating the incident,” a US spokesman said.

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Manuela Erb, the honorary consul of the Consulate of Switzerland at Ashwood, told AAP they also received a suspicious package.

“It was in an envelope,” she said.

Specialist firefighters were seen carrying large bags emblazoned with DANGER ASBESTOS as they exited the Indian and Korean consulates on St Kilda Road. Both Pakistan and New Zealand’s offices received envelopes containing small plastic bags with what appeared to be concrete and asbestos inside, ABC news reports.

“Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies in Melbourne,” an Australian Federal Police statement said.

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“The packages are being examined by attending emergency services.

“The circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated.”

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

Two fire trucks, a hazardous materials vehicle and police cars attended the Consulate-General of India on St Kilda Road where staff were evacuated, telling reporters they had been told not to comment to reporters.

They were allowed to re-enter the building, which was deemed “safe” by Vic Emergency by 3pm.

Victoria Police confirmed a number of consulates in Melbourne received suspicious packages in what it said was a targeted attack.

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“At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community,” a statement read.

The Vic Emergency website showed firefighters responding to more than 10 “hazardous material” events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding about 1pm.

Addresses for the events included Market Street, Bourke Street, Middleton Lane, William Street, and St Kilda Road in Melbourne, Elgin Street at Carlton, and Yertchuk Avenue at Ashwood. Each location matches the address of a consulate.

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

Some of the events have subsequently been listed as “safe” and “under control”.


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