Grenades, detonators and plastic explosives have been reportedly stolen from a major military base in France.
According to a report by the Telegraph quoting judicial sources, the "Very well informed" thieves broke into the Miramas arms depot northwest of Marseille, southern France, in the early hours of Monday cut open two wire fences.
The Marseille prosecutor has asked for an inquiry into theft via a break-in by an organized gang and fraudulent entry of a military base.
The defense ministry has also launched an administrative inquiry into the worrying robbery of enough explosives to “blow up any bank or, worse, commit a large-scale attack at a time when the terrorist threat is high in France,” according to TF1, the French TV news channel.
Around 250 military staff is present in the day but only a few guards at night at Miramais, according to the local mayor Frédéric Vigouroux, who said there had been a “change of command” in the past ten days.
“Miramas has stocked munitions since the First World War. It houses many soldiers notably those as they prepare to leave for external military operations with the necessary munitions”, Frédéric added.
“This is being taken very seriously but we don’t know the true extent of the theft yet, nor the causes – it could be anything, including the worst," he told TF1.
Several of the depots can be seen behind barbed wire from the road, according to AFP. According to Europe 1 radio, the two lines of fence are not equipped with security cameras.
The defense ministry has ordered a review of “the protection of all military sites stocking munitions” within two weeks.
The review will “propose any required corrective measures”, the ministry said in a statement.