Pakistan Says Anthrax Sent To PM's Office

Published February 1, 2012 1:54PM (EST)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A spokesman for Pakistan's prime minister says a packet containing anthrax was sent to the premier's office one year ago.

Akram Shaheedi said Wednesday a female professor at a large university in Sindh province sent the substance to Yousuf Raza Gilani in January 2011.

He says tests since confirmed it was anthrax.

He says no one was hurt in the office.

Earlier, a police officer said a toxic substance was sent to Gilani three weeks ago.

The cause of the apparent inconsistency in the dates was unclear.

Shaheedi didn't say why he was making the news public now.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani police say a package containing "toxic" white powder has been sent to the prime minister's office.

Police officer Hakim Khan said Wednesday that the package was sent three weeks ago to Yousuf Raza Gilani.

A member of Gilani's staff says tests showed the powder was "toxic" but didn't say what substance it was or whether it could cause harm with limited exposure. He didn't give his name because he was not an official spokesman for the prime minister.

Police didn't say who is suspected of sending the package.

Islamist militants have carried out scores of attacks against the Pakistani state in recent years, but have not been known to send letters or packages containing toxic material.

By Salon Staff

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