Australian police investigate suspicious packages sent to diplomatic missions

'Suspicious packages' found at consulates in Australia

'Suspicious packages' found at consulates in Australia

A spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police said: "Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies and consulates in Melbourne today".

Hazmat and fire crews work outside the Indian and French Consulate in Melbourne, Australia Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. "The circumstances are being investigated", the official statement reads.

"Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to Embassies and Consulates in Canberra and Melbourne today", an AFP spokesperson said.

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

SYDNEY: Pakistan's mission in Melbourne was among the those worldwide 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.

The Victorian Emergency website lists more than 10 "hazardous material" events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding from about 1.00pm.

The Indian and U.S. consulates on St Kilda Road as well as the British, Swiss and German diplomatic mission are believed to have been targeted.

Officials at the United States and British consulates in Melbourne separately confirmed suspicious packages had been received.

Images taken by 9News show firefighters and Ambulance Victoria paramedics attending the Indian Consulate and US Consulate on St Kilda Road.

Two firetrucks, a hazardous materials vehicle and police cars were seen at India's consulate in Melbourne, where staff members had been evacuated, some wearing protective masks.

Emergency services were first alerted to the packages in the Melbourne locations about 12.30pm.

"We are liaising closely with the AFP and the local authorities regarding the situation", the spokeswoman said.

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

The Age newspaper reported that one firefighter was seen outside the South Korean consulate carrying a large plastic bag with the word "asbestos" written on it.

"We are assisting at a number of embassies across Melbourne", she said.

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

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