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Radioactive material stolen in Mexico: officials

The Mexican government warned that a vehicle containing radioactive material has been stolen, and issued a dire warning to the thieves against taking the potentially deadly material from its protective container.

MEXICO CITY: The Mexican government warned on Friday that a vehicle containing radioactive material has been stolen, and issued a dire warning to the thieves against taking the potentially deadly material from its protective container.

Federal civil defence officials said the vehicle had been transporting deadly iridium-192, a radioactive substance used in making some industrial products.

The substance "can be dangerous for human health if removed from its container," the officials said in a statement, adding that the material can be lethal even if handled for only a brief time.

The theft in Mexico state prompted officials to issue an alert throughout the capital region and in neighbouring states.

It recalled a similar incident in December, when thieves stole a cargo truck containing highly radioactivecobalt-60, apparently unaware of the deadly cargo within the vehicle.

Authorities ultimately arrested several suspects in that case after recovering the lethal material.

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