Australia-India Business Council dinner cancelled after bomb threat at Sydney hotel

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Canberra, Aug 10 (ANI): The annual dinner of the Australia-India Business Council at Sydney's Hilton Hotel was cancelled on Monday after a telephone call that indicated the presence of a bomb. Guests, including the Premier of New South Wales (NSW), Kristina Keneally had to be evacuated.

Prior to the threat, India's High Commissioner to Australia, Sujata Singh, addressed the gathering and informed that India has become Australia's third-biggest export market.

Twenty minutes later, the dinner was cancelled.

"I am absolutely devastated. We have spent months and months of work on this dinner. We will lose a lot of money, but the most important thing is to protect lives," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the council's NSW President, Dipen Rughani, as saying.

The paper stated that about 420 guests, including Keneally, the Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, and the former NSW Premier Neville Wran, were taken out of the building.

"The telephone threat was not directed specifically at the Premier or the function. "As happens unfortunately often, it was a threat to the hotel," the hotel's general manager, Paul Hutton, said.

During the session, Keneally was forced to cut short her speech and immediately left the stage after the message was passed on to her. (ANI)

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