UN: nuclear materials seized by Iraqi militants are "low grade"
The nuclear weapons materials seized by Iraqi militants earlier this week is believed to be “low grade,” according to the U.N. nuclear agency, Reuters reports. Iraq informed the U.N. earlier this week that militants had taken control of nuclear material northwest of Baghdad.
“On the basis of the initial information we believe the material involved is low-grade and would not present a significant safety, security, or nuclear proliferation risk,” an International Atomic Energy Agency spokeswoman said.
Violence in Iraq escalated recently when militants from the Islamic State took control of Mosul and Tikrit. The extremist group declared an Islamic caliphate shortly thereafter. The militants have vowed to march towards Baghdad and capture Iraq’s capital.
Thousands of Iraqis have fled the ongoing violence. The U.N. estimates that nearly 1.2 million people have been displaced so far this year.