Initial tests: packages sent to consulates in Istanbul test negative for bioterrorism agents

Turkey's Health Ministry says initial tests indicate that suspicious packages that were sent to five consulates in Istanbul last week did not contain bioterrorism agents.

A ministry statement said Monday that powdery substances sent to the consulates tested negative for anthrax, ricin, botulism, tularemia and a plague bacteria. However, it also said more advanced tests are being conducted.

The consulates of Canada, Belgium, Germany, France and the United States were sent envelopes containing suspicious yellow power on Friday. Authorities said the Hungarian Consulate in Istanbul received a similar package Monday.

Some of the consulates were evacuated and at least seven people from the Canadian one were hospitalized as a precaution after one of them opened a package and was exposed to a yellow powder.