Suspicious packages sent to numerous consulates and embassies

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A spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police said: "Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies and consulates in Melbourne today".

"At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community", the statement said.

Emergency services in Melbourne are responding to reports that suspicious packages have been found at global embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra.

"There are 22 we know of at least in Melbourne and Canberra", Candice said.

The New Zealand consulate in Melbourne, Australia was sent a suspicious package, MFAT has confirmed.

The Vic Emergency website lists more than 10 "hazardous material" events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding from about 1pm.

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

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

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Hazmat and fire crews are seen outside the Indian and French Consulates on St Kilda Road with evacuated workers on the street.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries to staff in the buildings.

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", she said.

The United Kingdom Consulate, located on Collins Street, along with the Korean Consulate (St Kilda Road), German Consulate (Queen Street), Italian Consulate (St Kilda Road), Swiss Consulate (Ashwood), Pakistan Consulate (Cardigan Place), Greek Consulate (Albert Road) and the Indonesian Consulate(Queens Road) are among locations believed to have been affected.

The Swiss consulate in Melbourne was sent a small envelope containing a substance labelled "asbestos", said Peter Erb, the husband of honorary consul Manuela Erb.

"We handled the package according to our standard procedures and in close coordination with local authorities - the Melbourne Fire Brigade and the Australian Federal Police - who are investigating the incident", he said.

"The Australian Federal Police and Melbourne Fire Department are investigating".

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