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EXPLAINER: Dirty bombs sow fear and panic, cause few deaths


By The Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Dirty bombs have long been feared as a potential weapon of terrorists because their main objective is to sow panic, confusion and anxiety by hurling radioactive dust and smoke into the atmosphere. The Kremlin alleges that Ukraine is preparing to detonate a dirty bomb in order to blame it on Russia and force an escalation to the war that has entered its ninth month. Western countries have dismissed that claim as “transparently false.” Although no dirty bomb attack has ever been recorded, two failed attempts to detonate such a device were reported in the Russian province of Chechnya over two decades ago. Dirty bombs are much easier and cheaper to build than a nuclear device and also far less dangerous.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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