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Suspicious package sent to Pak consulate in Melbourne

Suspicious package sent to Pak consulate in Melbourne

SYDNEY: Pakistan’s mission in Melbourne was among the those international 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 worker at the Pakistani consulate in Melbourne opened one of the packages about 10am on Wednesday. It is understood the envelope, which looked like a normal letter, was addressed to the Consulate-General of Pakistan, Australian newspaper The Age reported.

Initial suspicions were raised by a spelling mistake on the envelope, with “consulate” misspelled.

Inside, the worker discovered a small item that looked like a marble tile, and three packages of tightly packed powder, it added.

The staff member did not touch the contents of the 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.

The packages — which are still being examined but are not believed to be harmful — were delivered to facilities in the capital and several addresses across the southern Australian city, police confirmed.

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

The British consulate in Melbourne was among those targeted.

“We are liaising closely with the (Australian Federal Police) and the local authorities regarding the situation. All our staff are safe and accounted for,” said a British High Commission spokesperson.

The US consulate in the city said it also received a “suspicious” package, which a spokesperson said was handled in coordination with the Melbourne Fire Brigade and the Australian Federal Police, who were “investigating the incident”.

“The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated,” said the Australian Federal Police.

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