Package found in Australia foreign affairs ministry deemed 'non-suspicious'

CANBERRA - A supposedly suspicious package found at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra has turned out to be a bomb scare, according to media reports.

An unattended backpack found in the staff canteen on Tuesday afternoon prompted the evacuation of hundreds of ministry staff and the activation of the bomb squad and fire crews. Roads were also closed, the police said in a statement, reported The Age.

Two hours later, the police said in a follow-up statement that the backpack, left by an employee, has been deemed "non-suspicious".

The police will "always respond in this manner to suspicious packages no matter where they are identified or located," according to the statement.

This happened hours after police stormed a cafe in Sydney to rescue 17 hostages held by a lone gunman. Two hostages, as well as the gunman, who was identified as 50-year-old Mon Haron Monis, were killed.