Team removes 500 tons of chemical weapons from Libya

Copenhagen, Denmark — A Danish-led international operation to rid Libya of its chemical weapons has removed 500 tons of chemicals from the North African country, Denmark said Wednesday.

The government said the chemicals were picked up Saturday at the Libyan port of Misrata and are now on their way out of the Mediterranean Sea toward Germany.

“We have now removed the chemical remnants from Libya and have ensured that they will not fall into the wrong hands,” Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen said.

Britain and Finland assisted with the maritime operation.

Denmark said Libya’s U.N.-brokered National Unity government in July handed over a formal request for international assistance to have the chemical weapons removed.

In a statement, Ahmet Uzumcu, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, expressed his confidence that the ultimate objective of verifiably eliminating the Libyan chemicals will be achieved in a safe, secure and timely way.

“This OPCW-coordinated international effort has achieved a major milestone in guaranteeing that these chemicals will not fall into the wrong hands,” he said.