Libyan mustard gas storage site may have been broken into

Chemical weapons experts recently acknowledged that they are investigating reports that a Libyan mustard gas storage site may have been broken into before falling into rebel hands.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, headquartered in The Hague in the Netherlands, said that it had inspected the site, known as the Bunker, before the war and that it contained at least nine tons of mustard agent, according to

“There is this rumor that there’s a door broken down, we’re been in contact with the Libyan national authority,” Bob Fairweather, an OPCW official, said, reports. “We are checking on the veracity of the story.”

A Libyan rebel fighter named Muhsen al Gubbi was one of 25 fighters issued hazmat suits and ordered to patrol the facility and lookout for loyalist units. During one of these patrols he noticed that one of the containment sheds had been broken into.

“NATO said to us ‘don’t touch three sheds, numbers 105, 106, and 107,'” Al Gubbi, from Misurata’s Chain Brigade, said, according to “We went in with masks, we don’t know what is inside. One of the gates was open, NATO told us no one can go inside.”

The news may cause anxiety among those that fear Muammar Qaddafi, who is still at large, may use chemical weapons as rebel fighters close in on his whereabouts, or that the mustard gas may find its way to other countries.

Al Gubbi said that the site was being closely protected by NATO forces. A group of rebel fighters who approached the site looking for weapons were reportedly bombed by NATO aircraft. Al Gubbi said his unit was told that unauthorized movement into the base would result in lethal force against him by NATO forces.