'Anthrax' threat to French embassy probed

2012-04-24 14:00

Jakarta - Two French embassy staff in the Indonesian capital were put in isolation in hospital after coming into contact with an envelope suspected of containing anthrax, police said on Tuesday.

The embassy in Jakarta called the bomb squad on Monday afternoon after receiving an envelope labelled "#ANTRAC" that was contained inside another package, police said.

It was not clear whether embassy staff had opened the second envelope.

"Two French staff members who came in contact with the envelope have been isolated in hospital as a precaution," Jakarta police spokesperson Rikwanto said.

"We are checking the contents of the envelope and expect to receive the laboratory results by Wednesday."

Police would not comment on whether they found any white powder.

The French embassy confirmed that a suspicious package had been received.

"Yesterday [Monday] we received a suspicious package and called the police to deal with it," spokesperson Dominique Roubert said, without giving further details.

Anthrax is a potentially lethal bacterium which has been used as a biological weapon by terrorists.

A homemade bomb exploded outside the Indonesian embassy in Paris in March, causing damage but no injuries.