On Thursday, August 23, Malaysian authorities set up a special task force to locate a 23-kg (50-lb) device containing an unknown amount of radioactive iridium that went missing from a pickup truck earlier in the day. The incident occurred during a journey from Seremban to Shah Alam (outskirts of Kuala Lumpur), a 60-km (37-mi) distance. In nearby neighboring Singapore, authorities have stepped up searches at border checkpoints with Malaysia, using scanners and hand-held detectors to screen for radiation levels on cargo, vehicles, and travelers entering the city-state.
According to the UN atomic agency, in theory, any radioactive material could be used by militants to build a crude nuclear device, or "dirty bomb."
Individuals present in Malaysia - notably those heading by car to Singapore - should be prepared for stricter vehicle controls by police and immigration personnel over the coming days. Adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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