Seven hospitalised after suspicious yellow powder sent to Canadian, Belgian and German consulates in Istanbul

One staff member was exposed to the powder

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Seven people were hospitalised as a precaution today after suspicious packages containing powder were sent to Canadian, Belgian, and German consulate buildings in the Turkish capital of Istanbul.

One staff member at the Canadian consulate opened a package and was exposed to a yellow powder, according to Dogan Eskinat, a spokesman for Turkey's AFAD emergency management agency.

Samples of the substance had been taken for testing in line with standard procedures, he added.

Claude Rochon, from Canada's department of foreign affairs, trade and development, said: "All staff at the Canadian mission are safe and accounted for."

The German foreign ministry said that the German consulate in Istanbul received a "suspicious object," that the staff members are safe and the Turkish authorities were notified.

The incidents come amid growing security fears over official Canadian buildings after two soldiers were killed in separate attacks in the Canadian cities of Quebec and Ottawa this week. 

In Ottawa, police lowered metal barriers that had blocked public access to an area around the war memorial where suspected gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is believed to have shot Corporal Nathan Cirillo on Wednesday.

Officials now plan to Cirillo's body from Ottawa to his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, today along a 500 km (310 mile) stretch of highway called the “Highway of Heroes” in honor of soldiers.

Additional reporting by PA