Suspicious Packages Trigger Lockdowns Outside Wellington Embassies

Suspicious Packages Trigger Lockdowns Outside Wellington Embassies

Central Wellington turned turbulent Monday afternoon after mysterious parcels surfaced outside the U.S. and Israeli embassies, triggering immediate security crackdowns.

The embassy precincts sit barely 100 meters apart in the capital’s diplomatic quarters. But no links between each suspicious delivery are confirmed. “Whether coordinated or not, these incidents exemplify global tensions spilling locally,” said Mayor Tipene Uruamo. “We must guard against overreaction as investigations proceed.”

Parliamentary security officials first cordoned off streets around 1:40 p.m. after a staffer reported an abandoned package outside the American diplomatic compound on Brandon Street. Ninety minutes later, police evacuated the nearby Israeli Chancery on Fitzherbert Terrace when another package was spotted there.

Full hazardous materials protocols followed as army disposal teams secured both areas. Nearby schools also initiated temporary lockdowns to protect students and avoid pedestrian risks. No evacuation orders were issued for other neighborhood buildings however.

By 5:30 p.m., cordons and closures withdrew after scan sweeps eliminated public dangers. But Wellington Police signaled intensive follow-up amid global jitters over homemade explosives reaching political targets – including in Australia, Spain and D.C. itself recently.

The episodes underscore simmering Middle East and ideological tensions still impacting New Zealand diplomacy, despite relative geographical distance. Continued vigilance and cooperation from the populace remains vital for ensuring public safety, advises the Foreign Ministry.

Investigations stay active but no known groups have claimed responsibility for risking embassy upheaval along central Wellington’s ceremonial approach.