Suspicious packages found at multiple foreign consulates in Melbourne, Canberra

'Suspicious packages' found at consulates in Australia

News agency Reuters quoted Australian police as saying, "The packages are being examined by attending emergency services".

Manuela Erb, the honorary consul of the Consulate of Switzerland in Melbourne, told the ABC that they had received a suspicious package at their Ashwood address.

"The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated", the statement said.

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

"There are 22 we know of at least in Melbourne and Canberra", Candice said.

The Vic Emergency website lists more than 10 "hazardous material" events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding from about 1pm.

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

There were no immediate reports of any of the consulate staff being harmed in the incidents.

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.

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Hazmat and fire crews are seen outside the Indian and French Consulates on St Kilda Road in Melbourne.

A New Zealand official told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the consulate received an envelope with small plastic bags that appeared to contain concrete and asbestos, with "asbestos" written on one of the bags.

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

Images on social media reportedly showed emergency services in protective clothing entering various consulates in Melbourne.

A firefighter is seen carrying a hazardous material bag into the South Korean consulate in Melbourne.

"The Australian Federal Police and Melbourne Fire Department are investigating".

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", said a British High Commission spokesperson.

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

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