The IAEA warned that 2.5 tons of uranium disappeared from a nuclear facility in Libya

File: Barrels with uranium oxide (REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov) (SHAMIL ZHUMATOV/)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Wednesday the disappearance of some 2.5 tons of natural uranium from a site in Libya.

During a visit on Tuesday, IAEA inspectors “discovered that 10 containers with about 2.5 tons of natural uranium in the form of uranium concentrate (yellow cake) were not present where they had been declared by the authorities”, wrote the general director of the entity, Rafael Grossi, in a report to the member states.

The UN body indicated that it will carry out verifications “additional” to “clarify the circumstances of the disappearance of this nuclear material and its current location”.

No details were provided about the site in question.

Libya left in 2003 its nuclear weapons development program, created under the command of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

File: A worker checks radiation levels in a uranium oxide container in Kazakhstan (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov)
File: A worker checks the radiation levels in a uranium oxide container in Kazakhstan (REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov) (Vladimir Pirogov/)

Since its fall in 2011 after 42 years of dictatorship, the country has been plunged into a serious political crisiswith rival forces that divide the country into east and west and endless militias and mercenaries scattered throughout the territory, in a context of foreign interference.

Two governments are fighting for power, one based in Tripoli (west) recognized by the UN, and the other supported by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, a strong man in eastern Libya.

(With information from AFP)


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