Anthrax threat hits French

JAKARTA: The police said on Tuesday that two staff members of the French embassy in Jakarta were quarantined at Sulianti Saroso Hospital for Infectious Diseases in North Jakarta after the embassy received an envelope reportedly filled with the Anthrax virus on Monday.

“These two staff members, identified as F and G, were the ones who received the envelope,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto told reporters.

The French Embassy in Jakarta reportedly received the envelope, with the word “Antrac” written on it, around 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Rikwanto said that the envelope contained powder.

“Both the envelope and the powder were immediately taken to a chemistry laboratory in Bogor to be examined,” he said.

Anthrax is a germ that can cause fatal infection. If the spores of anthrax are inhaled, they migrate to lymph glands in the chest where they proliferate and produce toxins that often cause death.

Separately, National Intelligence Agency (BIN) head Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman said that the envelope was not filled with the Anthrax virus. “It was not Anthrax. Only the writing on the envelope said that it was so,” he said Tuesday, as quoted by tempo.co.

The police, however, are still investigating whether the envelope carried Anthrax virus or not. Rikwanto said that there was no information regarding the sender’s name and address on the envelope. The French Embassy declined to comment, saying that it would release a statement on Wednesday.

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