Pakistan: Anthrax sent to prime minister’s office

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (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 Qaeda leaders and other extremists.

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

Mr. Shaheedi said tests at laboratories run by Pakistan’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Islamabad since confirmed the substance in the package as anthrax.

The package was received in October 2011, Mr. Shaheedi said. He initially told the Associated Press it was received 12 months ago, but he called back to say he was mistaken.

Mr. Shaheedi 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 they have not been known to send letters or packages containing toxic material.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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