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'Highly dangerous' radioactive material stolen in Iraq

The material went missing from a site belonging to a US company. Credit: PA

A "highly dangerous" radioactive material was stolen from a facility in Iraq last year, sparking fears it could be acquired by so-called Islamic State and used as a weapon.

The material went missing from a site belonging to US company Weatherford near Basra in November, Reuters reported.

A senior environment ministry official, who declined to be named, told Reuters the device contained up to 10g of Ir-192 "capsules", a radioactive isotope of iridium also used to treat cancer.

"We are afraid the radioactive element will fall into the hands of Daesh," said a senior security official told Reuters, using another term for IS. "They could simply attach it to explosives to make a dirty bomb."

A spokesman for Basra operations command said army, police and intelligence forces were working "day and night" to locate the material.

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Three British special forces 'injured in Iraq ambush'

British special forces in Iraq were wounded in an ambush in Iraq according to a report. Credit: Lewis Whyld / PA Wire/PA Images

Three British special forces personnel were injured in an ambush by so-called Islamic State (IS) fighters in Iraq, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.

The men from the SAS and its naval counterpart, the SBS, were part of a 25-strong unit of allied troops spying on IS positions near the northern city of Mosul.

They suffered shrapnel injuries when they were fired upon with rocket propelled grenades, the newspaper reported.

After receiving treatment on the ground they were given a medical evacuation back to Britain. The allied forces are said to have called in an air strike to tackle the fighters, who mounted the attack from captured US Humvee vehicles armed with heavy machine guns.

Around 30 IS insurgents were killed in the 15-minute firefight that took place around 10 miles south of the city's airport last week, the newspaper said.

The Ministry of Defence declined to comment.

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