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Libya. Uranium barrels are missing. The Libyan army claims to have recovered 2.5 tonnes of uranium

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Libyan National Army (LNA) forces said they had recovered 2.5 tons of uranium that was declared missing by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The LNA press service reported that the barrels of ore were found 5 kilometers from a warehouse in Sabha. The IAEA said it was checking the reports.

We recovered 2.5 tons of uranium, the loss of which was reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the Libyan National Army (LNA), which controls the east of the country, on Thursday. The IAEA said it was checking the reports.

security services in LibyaIllustrative photoReuters Archive

When inspecting the territory Libya International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) employees discovered that 10 containers containing about 2.5 tons of uranium ore concentrate had gone missing, the agency said in a document provided by Reuters on Wednesday.

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The disappearance of uranium barrels

It noted that the uranium was stored at one of the sites notified to the IAEA by the internationally recognized Libyan government in Tripoli. However, it added that the authorities in Tripoli do not currently have control over the area where the site is located. The IAEA did not reveal the name of this location, it was only reported that it is a place that is difficult to access.

This description suggests that uranium may have disappeared from a facility in the southern city of Sabha, the AP said. He recalls that during the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi, it was planned to launch a uranium enrichment installation there, never implemented, as part of a secret arms program.

The LNA press service reported that the barrels of ore were found 5 kilometers from a warehouse in Sabha, where the uranium is reported to the IAEA. It has been suggested that the center may have been robbed by one of the armed groups operating in nearby Chad, and the barrels taken in the hope that they contained weapons or ammunition.

Unprocessed uranium ore cannot be used for energy or military purposes. It is estimated that after 2011, about 1,000 tons of uranium ore remained in Libya, the AP reminds.

Libya in chaos

After the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya was plunged into chaos that continues to this day. The government in Tripoli does not control the entire territory of the country, which is divided by warring centers of power and numerous armed groups.

Sabha is located in the troubled south of Libya, but in recent years the city has been controlled by the LNA, which claims to have recovered the lost uranium. Led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar, the LNA rules the eastern part of the country and forms a center of power competing with the government in Tripoli.

Main photo source: Reuters Archive

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