Suspicious powder sent to Western consulates in Istanbul, officials say

October 24, 2014 20:35


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Packets of an unidentified yellow powder were sent to five western consulates in Istanbul on Friday, officials said, prompting security alerts following two militant attacks in Canada this week.

Consulates of the United States, Canada, France, Germany and Belgium received suspicious packages, the officials said. It was not immediately clear what the powder was and Turkish officials said results of tests on them were due on Monday.Sixteen people were hospitalized as a precaution from three different embassies, including 10 from the Canadian consulate, the Turkish Ministry of Health said in a statement. A hospital treating the Canadians said the Consul General was among them.

One Canadian consulate employee came into direct contact with the package and six others had indirect exposure, Turkey's disaster management agency AFAD said in a statement.

German and Belgian consular staff were also being monitored in hospital, the Ministry of Health added.

A U.S. embassy spokesman confirmed the Consulate General had received a "suspicious" envelope containing a powder, but said it was dealt with according to security protocols and the consulate remained open.

Istanbul's governor later confirmed the French consulate had also received a similar package.

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