A security guard walks past the Weatherford booth during the Basra International trade fair for oil and gas in Basra, Iraq in a November 25, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Atef Hassan/Files
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Iraq is searching for "highly dangerous" radioactive material stolen last year, according to an environment ministry document and seven security, environmental and provincial officials who fear it could be used as a weapon if acquired by ISIS.The material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop computer, went missing in November from a storage facility near the southern city of Basra belonging to U.S. oilfield services company Weatherford, the document seen by Reuters showed and officials confirmed.A senior environment ministry official based in Basra, who declined to be named as he is not authorized to speak publicly, told Reuters the device contained up to 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of Ir-192 "capsules," a radioactive isotope of iridium also used to treat cancer.A spokesman for Basra operations command, responsible for security in Basra province, said army, police and intelligence forces were working "day and night" to locate the material.The senior environmental official said authorities were worried that whoever stole the material would mishandle it, leading to radioactive pollution of "catastrophic proportions".
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