Suspicious packages found at multiple foreign consulates in Melbourne, Canberra

Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to the British Consulate in Melbourne. Pic Google Streetview

Image Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to the British Consulate in Melbourne. Pic Google Streetview

Australian police are investigating suspicious packages found at foreign consulates and embassies in Melbourne and Canberra.

Reuters adds: Police in Australia are investigating suspicious packages sent to a wide range of embassies and consulates on Wednesday, which officials said included the USA and British missions in Melbourne.

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

A major security operation in Melbourne, Australia is underway after suspicious packages were reportedly found at multiple diplomatic consulates on January 9.

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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".

Police, fire crews and ambulances attended foreign consulates including those of Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, India and South Korea.

The Swiss consulate in Melbourne confirmed to CNN that a suspicious package was delivered at around 1.30 p.m. local time Wednesday (9.30 p.m. Tuesday ET), and that the police and fire services are now investigating.

Meanwhile, Melbourne talkback radio station 3AW reported the American, British, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Korean, Egyptian, Pakistani, Greek, Spanish, Japanese, and German consulates are believed to have been affected after the discovery of "hazardous materials" just before 2 p.m.

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"All our staff are safe and accounted for", she said.

It's reported the packages have various descriptions mentioning "asbestos" and "wear mask".

The Indian High Commission is located in Canberra; there were no immediate reports of the high commission being among the locations that received suspicious packages. "The circumstances are being investigated", said the AFP statement.

However the USA embassy in Canberra was not targeted with a package, a spokesperson said.

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The Indian consulate and United States embassy, both located on St Kilda Road in Melbourne, are believed to be have been affected, as well as the Swiss, British, German, Spanish, Korean and New Zealand consulates and embassies.

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