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UK police probe suspect packages



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LONDON, England (CNN) -- British police are examining four suspicious packages containing white powder that were sent to diplomatic addresses in London, Scotland Yard said Monday.

The Saudi Embassy in London was among the sites that received a package.

Police are working to determine what the substance is. Scotland Yard said initial tests "suggest that the contents are non-hazardous but fuller tests are yet to be completed."

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said it had been made aware of the packages and said that police are dealing with the matter.

"The safety of our staff is paramount and we have procedures for dealing with any mail that employees consider suspicious," she said.

"We would work with police to help them with their investigations."

The Saudi Embassy in London issued a statement saying that a sealed envelope arrived there Monday morning "containing white powder."

"The embassy contacted the British authorities, who dealt with the matter on the spot," the statement said.

"The embassy has taken all the precautionary measures for the protection and safety of its employees."

The locations of the other three diplomatic sites that received the suspicious packages were not given.

Working with security and emergency services, the Royal Mail developed a response plan to suspicious packages after the anthrax mailings in the United States in the fall of 2001.

Anthrax-laced letters were sent to various media organizations and congressional offices in the United States. Five people died as a result of exposure to the bacteria.


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