Anthrax scare at post office in Lebanon plus soundbites.
Story No.: 319161
Dateline: Beirut - 23 Oct 2001
Date: 10/23/2001 04:00 AM
1. LibanPost employees in masks sorting post
2. Closeup post being sorted
3. Various of postal workers sorting mail
4. Wide shot of presser
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Nassib Husseini, Chairman of LibanPost
"We are applying very strict measures, the same actually that are applied in other countries that have this problem like the USA and we are doing the same and this is for prevention. But there is no reason whatsoever to think that the capability exists in Lebanon or the wish, but you know we have to do prevention."
6. Various of postal workers in masks stamping mail
7. Closeup of postal workers with gloves on sorting mail
8. Closeup of postal worker
9. Man loading sacks of mail on to trolley
10. Closeup of reception sign at LibanPost
Lebanon has begun implementing strict security measures in post offices, in a bid to guard against an outbreak of anthrax.
The Lebanese-Canadian company restructuring Lebanon's postal services, LibanPost, has began screening all overseas mail at its headquarters at Beirut airport.
LibanPost's Chairman, Nassib Husseini says no anthrax infections have been detected so far, but it's important to implement safeguards.
Lebanon's health ministry has confirmed that powder substances found in letters mailed to two women in Beirut last week were not anthrax.
The anthrax scare broke out on Friday, after television stations reported that an Indonesian domestic helper and a housewife had received letters containing a suspicious-looking powder.
Both women handed over the envelopes to police.
According to newspaper reports on Monday, postal employees had handed over to police a packet mailed from Canada addressed to a Lebanese woman that contained substances used for making desserts.
They reported another packet mailed locally and handed over to police, contained powdered sugar.
Prosecutor-General Adnan Addoum, who has described the incidents as either an "ugly joke, or just a sabotage to cause confusion," said Monday that such hoaxes will be considered criminal acts and the perpetrators will be severely punished.