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    People take part in a protest against candidates for a national unity government proposed by U.N. envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon, in Benghazi, Libya October 9, 2015.

    Extremists Steal Large Quantities of Deadly Chemical Weapons in Libya

    © REUTERS/ Esam Omran Al-Fetori
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    Extremists in Libya have stolen large amounts of sarin gas, which is considered a weapon of mass destruction by the UN; they found the nerve gas stored in warehouses in southern Libya and have smuggled it to northern cities, including Tripoli, a close aide and cousin of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said in an interview.

    "Huge amounts" of sarin are being moved from desert areas in the south to the north of the country and to the suburbs of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam said in an interview with the London-based Arabic international newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday.

    He added that the outlawed gas was first used in the country in 2014, yet some Western countries "turned a blind eye".

    Sarin gas, also called GB, is one of the most dangerous and toxic chemical weapons known. It was invented in Germany in 1938 during attempts to develop pesticides; however, following its discovery, the Nazis weaponized it. It belongs to a class of chemical weapons known as nerve agents. Although the Nazis had plans for the construction of a facility to produce sarin for wartime use, it was never completed.

     Pure sarin is a colorless and odorless gas, is extremely volatile, and can spread quickly through the air. A lethal dose of sarin is about 0.5 milligrams; it is approximately 500 times more deadly than cyanide.

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    Tags:
    nerve gas, sarin, chemical weapons, chemical agents, Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, Libya, Tripoli
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