Burglars Steal Explosives From French Army Base


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Burglars Steal Explosives From French Army Base


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Detonators, plastic explosives and grenades have been stolen from a military site in the southeastern French town of Miramas according to authorities there.

Mayor Frederic Vigouroux of Miramas said he does not know exactly how much was stolen but claimed it was the first such incident at the site. However it is believed as many as 190 detonators and 40 grenades may have been taken.

He said outer fences were breached and nine store houses broken into. Reports say there were apparently no surveillance cameras around the sites outer fences.

The stolen munitions are of the type used by the French military in operations in Afghanistan and Mali.

“It wasn’t cotton candy that was stolen,” he said. “These are dangerous munitions. Everything is inherently dangerous.”

France is still on high alert for terrorism following deadly attacks earlier this year which left 17 people dead and including the gunning down of 12 people in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The thefts apparently took overnight on Sunday.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin confirmed an investigation was underway into a “theft with break-in carried out by a criminal group” and “fraudulent entry into a military compound”.

A member of the gendarmerie police force, the law enforcement group in rural areas of the country said it appears as if thieves cut through a fence to enter the "high-security" site.

While the investigation is mainly concentrating on organised crime, officials have not ruled out the possibility the theft was organized and carried out by a terrorist group.

The French Defence Ministry has ordered immediate security checks of all its bases and police have been placed on high alert in case of possible attacks using the stolen munitions.

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