Suffolk troops find nuclear capability

SUFFOLK troops serving in Afghanistan have discovered a cache of radioactive equipment capable of making nuclear weapons.The potentially lethal materials had been kept hidden from al Qaida and Taliban forces in the basement of Kabul University and the ruins of a mental hospital.

SUFFOLK troops serving in Afghanistan have discovered a cache of radioactive equipment capable of making nuclear weapons.

The potentially lethal materials had been kept hidden from al Qaida and Taliban forces in the basement of Kabul University and the ruins of a mental hospital.

Specially-trained soldiers from RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, were said to be "astounded" by the discovery which they were led to by two nuclear physicists.

It included a broken radiotherapy machine, containing enough cobalt 60 to kill a man instantly.

There were also containers of solid and liquid radioactive material, some broken or with the lids off, chemical warfare agents, and instruments emitting radiation.

Captain James Cameron, from the Honington-based Joint Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Regiment said: "We've been finding stuff that's far more potent and dangerous than even 'dirty bombs', which are made of nuclear waste."

Most Read

The eight-member team, which also monitors the activities of Saddam Hussein, from Kuwait, is in Kabul to protect the international peacekeeping force.

Captain Cameron said much of the material was left over from the Soviets, who used "far higher" doses of radiation.

He added that some of the containers were damaged by the Afghan mujahideen in the early 1990s, but that the scientists kept it secret and al Qaida and the Taliban never knew of it.

Had the terror group been told they might have built several "dirty bombs", a conventional bomb wrapped in radioactive material, he said.

"The Taliban would have given their eye teeth for the stuff these men were hiding, and if they'd found it, I hate to think what they'd have done."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter