Radioactive material that went missing in Iraq has been found dumped near a petrol station in the southern town of Zubair, officials said on Sunday, ending speculation it could be acquired by Islamic
Radioactive material that went missing in Iraq has been found dumped near a petrol station in the southern town of Zubair, officials said on Sunday, ending speculation it could be acquired by Islamic State and used as a weapon.
The officials told Reuters the material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop computer, was undamaged and there were no concerns about radiation.
Reuters reported last week that Iraq had been searching for the material since it was stolen in November from a storage facility belonging to US Oil field services company Weatherford near the southern city of Basra.
It was not immediately clear how the device, owned by Swiss inspections group SGS, ended up in Zubair, around 15km (9 miles) southwest of Basra.
“A passerby found the radioactive device dumped in Zubair and immediately informed security forces which went with a special radiation prevention team and retrieved the device,” the chief of the security panel within Basra provincial council, Jabbar al-Saidi, Reuters.
“After initial checking I can confirm the device is intact100 per cent and there is absolutely no concern of radiation.”
A security official close to the investigation said it had been established soon after the material was stolen that it was being kept in Zubair and controls had been tightened to prevent it being taken out of the town.
“After failing to take it out of the town, the perpetrators decided to dump it,” the security official said.