Turkey: packages sent to consulates test negative

AP News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2014 9:50 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Initial tests indicate that suspicious packages that were sent to five consulates in Istanbul last week did not contain bioterrorism agents, Turkey's Health Ministry announced Monday.

A ministry statement said that powdery substances sent to the consulates tested negative for anthrax, ricin, botulism, tularemia and a plague bacteria. However, it also said more advanced tests were still being conducted.

The consulates of Canada, Belgium, Germany, France and the United States were sent envelopes containing suspicious yellow power on Friday. Authorities said the Hungarian Consulate in Istanbul received a similar package on Monday.

Some of the consulates were evacuated, and Turkish authorities said 25 people were hospitalized as a precaution. All of them were released on Monday, the Health Ministry said in a separate statement.