ANTHRAX ALERT AT EMBASSIES IN FIJI

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By John Kamea

SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 17, 2001 – The Sun)---Embassies in Fiji are on alert and staff have been advised to take precautionary measures against any impending chemical and biological terrorists attack in the country.

This follows recent reports of anthrax threats in the United States of America, particularly in the state of Nevada where anthrax pores were detected in a letter delivered from Malaysia.

Since the incident, authorities have been alerted about possible chemical and biological attacks on civilians.

The U.S. Embassy yesterday did not wish to discuss its measures against the deadly anthrax or other agents.

However, it is understood that all U.S. embassies around the world are on guard against any form of terrorist attacks.

"We do not want to discuss specific details. However, the Embassy has in place measures necessary for safety and security to counter any threat, including that of anthrax," an embassy official said.

A statement from the British High Commission said that while the prospect of terrorism was alarming, the threat of such attacks was low.

"Staff have, however, been advised on what precautionary measures to take in case they receive any suspicious packages, bags, boxes, canisters or letters which raise suspicion that they may contain chemical or biological material," the statement outlined.

The statement further added that staff have also been taught about measures to take in the event of an airborne chemical and biological release.

No comments could be obtained yesterday from the Australian and New Zealand high commissions.

For additional reports from the Fiji Sun, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Sun.

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