Suspicious packages sent to multiple embassies and consulates in Australia

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Emergency services in Australia are responding to multiple reports of suspicious packages delivered to a number of embassies and consulates in Canberra and Melbourne.

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 currently investigating.

A British High Commission spokesperson also confirmed that a suspicious package was sent to their Melbourne consulate and they were liaising closely with Australian Federal Police and the local authorities regarding the situation.

A spokesman for the US consulate in Melbourne told CNN that after receiving a suspicious package staff “followed standard procedures and alerted local authorities. The Melbourne fire brigade and Australian Federal Police are currently investigating. We have full faith and confidence in them.”

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) confirmed that police and emergency services had responded to suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in both Canberra and Melbourne but did not provide details as to the specific locations or contents of the packages.

“The packages are being examined by attending emergency services. The circumstances are being investigated,” said the AFP statement.

Melbourne is the country’s second largest city and is home to numerous diplomatic missions. The city’s Indian consulate, as well as the German, Pakistani, Korean, Italian and Greek consulates are also believed to have been affected, according to CNN affiliate Nine News.

A reporter from CNN affiliate Seven News also reported that firefighters and federal police had been called to the New Zealand embassy.

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

Melbourne emergency services have responded to a number of call-outs for “hazardous material” in the last hour according to the state’s emergency response website, which shows a total of 17 hazardous material incidents currently in progress.

A number of the incidents listed are categorized as being “under control,” while others are listed as emergency services “responding.”

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