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Malaysia police on the hunt for missing radioactive waste

Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said a similar device went missing last year [AFP]

Date of publication: 22 August, 2018

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Malaysian police have said that a radioactive device went missing while being transported by road, raising fears about theft and contamination.

Malaysian authorities are searching for a missing industrial device containing radioactive material after it was reported missing from a pickup truck, police said on Monday.

It is feared that the device, which contains an unspecified amount of radioactive iridium, could fall into the hands of militants or be exposed to unwitting victims.

"Yes, there is a report and we are investigating," Mazlan Mansor, Selangor state police chief, told Reuters

The device, which was used in industrial radiography, went missing during a 60km (37 miles) journey from Seremban to Shah Alam, the state capital of Selangor. 

Police arrested two employees from the firm responsible for the missing device, however, they were later released.

The United Nations Atomic Agency has warned that missing or stolenm radioactive material could fall into the hands of militants plotting to build a 'dirty bomb'.

Malaysia has in recent years been on alert over attempted attacks by Islamic State group sympathisers and other Islamist militants.

The incident, however, is not the first of its kind, according to Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun.

"This incident is not the first and it is understood that it also happened last year," he told reporters on Monday.

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