Pakistan Says Anthrax Sent To PM's Office

Published February 1, 2012 2:27PM (EST)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A female university professor sent a packet containing anthrax to the office of Pakistan's prime minister in October last year, his spokesman said Wednesday, an incident that will fuel security concerns in a country that is home to top al-Qaida leaders and other extremists.

No one was made ill, and her motive was not clear, said Akram Shaheedi, a spokesman for Yousuf Raza Gilani.

He said tests at laboratories run by Pakistan's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Islamabad since confirmed the substance in the package was anthrax.

Shaheedi said the package was received in October 2011.

He initially told The Associated Press it was received 12 months ago, but called back to say he was mistaken.

He didn't say why he was making the news public now. He also didn't say whether the woman, a professor at Jamshoro University in Sindh province, had been arrested.

Islamist militants and other rebels 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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