Australian officials have launched a probe, after suspicious packages were sent to the Indian consulate and several other diplomatic missions in that country. In a tweet, Australian Federal Police said, "Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages to embassies and consulates... The packages are being examined by attending emergency services. The circumstances are being investigated."
A major operation is underway after packages were delivered to at least 10 international consulates, including that of the United States of America, across Melbourne. Emergency services were first alerted to the packages at the US Consulate and Indian consulate about 12.30 pm. Firefighters and Ambulance Victoria paramedics were attending the Indian Consulate and US Consulate on St Kilda Road. Reports said the packages contain white powder laced with asbestos, and that warnings were emailed to staffers at the consulates prior to the delivery telling them to wear masks" when opening the packages.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said it was assisting the Australian Federal Police at a number of incidents at embassies across Melbourne. In a statement, Victoria police said it was aware of a number of consulate offices in Melbourne today receiving suspicious packages. "At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community," the statement said.