Australia: Suspicious packages sent to U.S., UK, 12 other Missions

                             Fire fighting trucks spotted in front of one of the 14 embassies that received the suspicious package

Police in Australia said on Wednesday they are investigating several suspicious packages sent 14 embassies and consulates, which media reports and other officials said included the U.S. and British missions.

The consulates that received the packages were all in the city of Melbourne and Canberra. There were no immediate reports of any harm to staff.

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“The packages are being examined by attending emergency services,” the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a short statement without providing further details.

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

Police did not identify any of the embassies or consulates involved, although the Australian newspaper reported that missions affected included the United Kingdom, New Zealand, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Germany, Greece, Spain, Seychelles, Switzerland, Croatia and Egypt.

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Officials at the U.S. and British consulates separately confirmed suspicious packages had been received.

“We handled the package according to our standard procedures and in close coordination with local authorities … who are investigating the incident,” a spokesman for the U.S. Consulate said.

Australian media reported earlier that packages were sent to at least nine international missions in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, including the British, German, Swiss and Indian embassies.

Images showed firefighters and paramedics attending the Indian and U.S. missions in Melbourne.

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