Russia confirms discovery of sarin capsule

Security services in Russia confirmed on Monday that a capsule believed to contain sarin, an extremely toxic nerve agent, has been discovered in the county's Bryansk region.

Reports over the weekend quoted local ecological organizations as saying that residents of Bryansk brought a capsule, containing the inscription of the word sarin, to a local scrap metal recycling shop on Saturday. The capsule was then put into a sealed box, Pan Armenian reports.

"The item has been seized by police, the situation is under control," a spokesman for the Bryansk regional security services, said, according to Pan Armenian.

Tests have begun to determine whether the capsule actually contains the toxic chemical. The spokesman would not speculate on where the capsule came from. A chemical weapons destruction facility is located in the Bryansk region near the town of Pochepa. The facility stores aviation chemical bombs filled with organophosphorus chemicals, including sarin.

Sarin is an odorless, colorless liquid that is more than 500 times more poisonous than cyanide. The chemical was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. The United States, Iraq, Russia and Libya are known to have possessed stockpiles of sarin.

The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo used sarin during a terrorist attack in 1995 on the Tokyo subway. Ten people were killed during the attack and thousands were injured.