Scrap Metal Thieves May Have Stolen Warhead Parts

A train transporting defense gear from Romania to Bulgaria was broken into and military equipment went missing, Romanian military prosecutors said in a statement on Sunday.

Railway staff in the southern town of Giurgiu, near Romania's border with Bulgaria, noticed on Saturday that the seal on one of the train's carriages was broken, the door was open and four boxes full of military equipment had disappeared, the statement said.

Each box contained 16 warhead components, which were part of a defense gear export from Romania to Bulgaria, local daily paper Evenimentul Zilei reported on its Web site, quoting sources in the Romanian gendarmerie.

The components are not dangerous as they cannot be used independently and contained no explosives, according to the sources quoted by the newspaper.

Romanian Defense Ministry officials told the paper the transport did not belong to the ministry.

Military prosecutors and the gendarmerie have started an investigation and one scenario that is taken into consideration is that the warhead components were stolen by thieves to be sold as scrap metal, the paper reported.

Black Sea neighbors Romania and Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007.

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