Suspicious packages sent to Indian consulate, other missions in Australia

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

"Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies in Melbourne", an Australian Federal Police statement said.

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

AFP confirmed packages were also delivered to embassies in Canberra.

"At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community", said police in the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital.

Some of the packages were reported to contain what appeared to be concrete, and were labelled asbestos. The husband of the Swiss honorary consul in Melbourne told the Australia Post a similar story.

The incident comes just days after emergency services were called to the Argentinian consulate in Sydney's CBD after reports that a suspicious substance was found in a parcel.

There are also reports the Korean, Greek, Italian, Pakistani and Egyptian consulates have also been in lockdown.

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The Metropolitan Fire Brigade is assisting Australian Federal Police, who is the lead agency in the investigation, an MFB spokeswoman said. "The circumstances are being investigated".

Ten News reporter Candice Wyatt told Nick McCallum there was about a dozen police outside the Spanish Consulate in Carlton. The government Vic Emergency website noted at least 10 "hazardous material" incidents in the city.

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

The NZ consulate was one of at least seven worldwide consulates evacuated after multiple suspicious packages were found, in what officials labelled a "hazardous material" event. She has been quarantined for treatment, the sources said.

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

Several foreign consulates were evacuated in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Canberra on Wednesday after they received suspicious packages.

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