Pakistan denies militants attacked nuclear sites

Pakistan denies militants attacked nuclear sites

A military spokesman denied a recent report that militants have attacked Pakistan’s nuclear facilities three times in two years, saying Wednesday there is “absolutely no chance” the country’s atomic weapons could fall into terrorist hands.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said an article written by a U.K.-based security expert was false because none of the bases named actually had any nuclear facilities.

“It is factually incorrect,” he said.

Taliban militants’ brief takeover of areas some 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the capital, Islamabad, raised new fears about the security of Pakistan’s atomic weapons being seized by extremists linked to al-Qaeda, although the country insists its arsenal is secure.

Shaun Gregory, a professor at Bradford University’s Pakistan Security Research Unit, wrote that several militant attacks have already hit military bases where nuclear components are secretly stored. The article appeared in the July newsletter [PDF] of the Combating Terrorism Center of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. [continued…]

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