Australia police examining suspicious packages at 10 consulates

Staff have been evacuated as emergency crews respond to a number of incidents involving foreign consulates in Melbourne. AAP Image  Kaitlyn Offer

Staff have been evacuated as emergency crews respond to a number of incidents involving foreign consulates in Melbourne. AAP Image Kaitlyn Offer

"The packages are being examined by attending emergency services", the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

"A worker at the Pakistani consulate in Melbourne opened one of the packages about 10am on Wednesday. The circumstances are being investigated", it said.

"Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to Embassies and Consulates in Canberra and Melbourne today", an AFP spokesperson said.

It is unclear what embassies in Canberra were affected.

Police are investigating after suspicious packages were delivered to a number of foreign consulates in Melbourne's CBD and the ACT.

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Police, fire crews and ambulances were seen at a number of diplomatic offices in Melbourne, including those of India, Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea.

A spokesman for the US Consulate in Melbourne also confirmed they had received a package which local authorities are investigating.

The Indian and U.S. consulates on St Kilda Road as well as the British, Swiss and German diplomatic mission are believed to have been targeted.

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There were no immediate reports of any of the consulate staff being harmed in the incidents.

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", said a British High Commission spokesperson.

There was also an alert of a hazardous material incident at Yertchuch Avenue in Ashwood, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, where the Swiss consulate is based.

A spokesman for the USA consulate in Melbourne told CNN that after receiving a suspicious package staff "followed standard procedures and alerted local authorities".

There are unconfirmed reports that the Italian, Japanese, Egyptian and Danish consulates also received packages.

The Age newspaper reported that one firefighter was seen outside the South Korean consulate carrying a large plastic bag with the word "asbestos" written on it.

Emergency services attended consulates across Melbourne's central busy district and the inner city.

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

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