Suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra

The'hazardous material warnings as mapped on the Victoria Emergency website. Image Victoria Emergency

Australian police were investigating the delivery of suspicious packages sent to foreign embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra, including the Turkish consulate, police and diplomatic sources said on January 9.

Suspicious packages have sparked a major emergency response and evacuation of some foreign consulates across Melbourne, including New Zealand, with embassies in Canberra also hit.

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

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.

A spokeswoman said: "As this matter is subject to further inquiries, it is not appropriate to provide further information that may impact on the investigation".

According to Channel Nine, the consulates of Britain, the United States, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Pakistan and Greece were all believed to have been affected.

Investigating officers at the U.S Consulate on St Kilda Road said the package had been found in the mail room.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said Australian Federal Police are "dealing" with a report of a suspicious package at the British Consulate General in Melbourne.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said it was assisting the Australian Federal Police at embassies across Melbourne.

US and British consulate officials confirmed to Reuters that suspicious packages had been discovered at their respective locations.

"The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated".

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

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Some of the packages were reported to contain what appeared to be concrete, and were labelled asbestos.

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

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