CBRNe World News Briefs


AMERICAS

Soldiers from the U.S. military’s premier all hazards command trained to respond to an improvised nuclear device detonation during Exercise Sudden Response, January 21st and 27th. Highly specialized teams from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command participated in the Defense CBRN Response Force exercise designed to hone their skills for domestic response missions. On Wednesday February 16th, the United States warned that Russia could use false claims about the conflict in Ukraine's Donbass region, including reports of mass graves and allegations of chemical weapons production, to justify an invasion of the former Soviet republic.

EUROPE

American Soldiers from Nuclear Disablement Team 2 toured a British Civil Nuclear Constabulary facility during a recent visit to the United Kingdom. Soldiers from NDT 2 visited the Griffin Park Tactical Training Centre at the Sellafield Site and met with personnel from the British police force charged with protecting nuclear sites and nuclear materials in England, Scotland and Wales. Part of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority, more than 1,600 British police officers and staff members serve in the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. On Monday. February 14th at 5:15 p.m., an explosion occurred on the premises of the Nitroerg S.A. plant in Krupski Młyn, Poland. According to the residents, the explosion was so strong that it shook houses within a radius of several kilometers. The explosion took place in one of the production buildings, during the process of mixing 800 kilograms of nitroglycerin. Two employees of the plant are missing, and the rescue is currently underway. Police Scotland has welcomed the sentencing of Nikolaos Karvounakis after he left an improvised explosive device (IED) in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh in January 2018. Th 35-year-old was sentenced to eight years and four months at the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday, February 16th.

In the North East of England, ten people have been injured in a chemical incident at a leisure centre believed to have been caused by swimming pool cleaning products. The North East Ambulance Service, fire brigade and police were dispatched to Loftus Leisure Centre on Teesside on Wednesday, February 16th at about 15:00 GMT. A cordon has been set up around the area and people in hazmat suits could be seen entering. On Wednesday, February 16th, four people have been arrested over a reported chemical attack on a man in Stoke-on-Trent, England. It happened in the early hours of Monday morning at an address off College Road, in the Shelton area. The victim was left with burns to his back, head and neck, police said. Three men were arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent, while a woman has also been questioned on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

AFRICA

Four people have been killed in an IED attack in Sangailu, Holugho sub-county in Garissa County, Kenya, on Thursday, February 10th morning. The group was travelling from Masalani to Holugho when the incident happened. The driver of the vehicle narrowly escaped death and is fighting for his life in hospital. The four were family members. The Kenyan Defence Forces soldier has been seriously injured on Saturday, February 12th when the vehicle he was traveling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) between Milimani and Baure in Lamu County, Kenya. Al-Shabaab targeting construction workers clearly shows that their aim is to cripple development. Collaboration with security agencies will go a long way in decimating these militants.

MIDDLE EAST

An explosion under a support vehicle at the Dakar rally in Saudi Arabia that injured French race driver Philippe Boutron on Dec. 30 was caused by an improvised explosive device, a French source familiar with the investigation said on Friday, February 10th. Confirming a report by RTL radio, the source told Reuters that investigators had found traces of explosives on Boutron’s wrecked vehicle in Saudi Arabia. French anti-terrorism prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into the explosion in January. In the second week of February, contrasting statements have been released by the US and Iran in regard to the 2015 JCPOA, the “Iran Nuclear Deal”. US claimed to be at the “final stages of indirect talks” to revive the deal froze after former US President Trump pulled out in 2018, as reported by Reuters. Contrarily, Iran Supreme National Security Council Secretary addressed the agreement as “an empty shell”. Underground negotiations seem to anyway continue to be underway, as Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei reportedly stated that his country seeks peaceful use of nuclear power, and not a nuclear arsenal.

ASIA

A youth was killed after a bomb went off in Kerala’s Kannur, India. The incident happened when the deceased Jishnu, 28, was returning to the residence of a newly married couple after the ceremony at 2 pm on Sunday, February 13th. Jishnu had come to attend the wedding of a friend here with some of his friends. Around 50 people were part of the wedding procession. The other injured people are currently under treatment. Kep will become the first Cambodian province without mine by this year, according to the provincial administration. A meeting on the preparation of an official ceremony to declare the province’s mine-free status was organised in the first week of February. Prum Sopheakmongkul, Secretary General of the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAC) and Vao Sokha, Deputy Governor of Kep province co-chaired the meeting. The meeting was joined by representatives from line concerned provincial departments and working groups of the mine action authority. Two policemen and a minor in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental province of the Philippines, were wounded during a roadside encounter with suspected members of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Barangay Bi-ao on February 13th. Police report said Lt. Charles Richard Casalan, the station’s deputy chief of police, and Cpl. Julius Tranquillero, sustained minor injuries during an explosion and were treated in the town infirmary, along with a 15-year-old boy, who was hit by a stray bullet. Maj. Ellendie Rebusquillo, chief of Binalbagan Municipal Police Station, said 10 of his men were on board a patrol vehicle going to Sitio Nursery, which called for assistance after residents found a dead man in the area.

OCEANIA

As of February 10, 2022, in the Western Pacific Region, there have been a total of 18,140,468 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 171,515 deaths. According to the WHO, an actual increase in the number of ILI (Influenza-Like Illness) cases is seen in Kiribati, Wallis & Futuna, and New Caledonia for the first week of February. A reduction of ILI cases was seen in Fiji, CNMI, Solomon Islands, and FSM for the week. The decrease seen in Vanuatu and Tonga may be due to the decreased number of sites reported for the week. No changes were seen to the number of ILI cases in RMI for the week. Nil ILI cases were reported for the week from Palau, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and Pitcairn Islands. No reports were available from French Polynesia, Tuvalu, and Samoa for the week. American Samoa, Guam and Nauru have not participated in the surveillance.