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Georgia Arrests Five Trying To Sell Uranium Types Used In Bombs

A sample of enriched uranium which can be used to make nuclear bombs.
A sample of enriched uranium which can be used to make nuclear bombs.

Georgia has arrested five people for trying to sell radioactive uranium material that could be used to make nuclear bombs, in the second such seizure this month.

The State Security Service said that the five suspects were trying to sell for $3 million about 1.6 kilos (3.5 pounds) of nuclear material that included uranium-238 and uranium-235 isotopes.

They said the suspects were arrested in the Black Sea resort of Kobuleti and were remanded in custody on April 27. If convicted, they could face jail terms of up to 10 years.

Large quantities of Uranium-235 can be used to make a nuclear bomb, and while Uraniam-238 is not fissile, it also can be used as a component in nuclear weapons.

The seizures have raised questions about nuclear security in the former Soviet Union and could fuel fears that militants areseeking to acquire material to make bombs.

The latest arrests came just 10 days after Georgia police arrested three Georgians and three Armenians for trying to sell uranium-238.

Previous attempts to sell radioactive isotopes were intercepted in Armenia and Georgia in 2010 and 2012.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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