The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it is working to verify reports that the drums of uranium declared missing by the UN nuclear watchdog had been found.

On Thursday, Forces affiliated with Khalif Haftar said the ten missing barrels were found about 5 km from the warehouse they were taken from in the southern key city of Sebha.

Khaled Mahjoub, head of a media unit for Haftar's forces, announced that the missing barrels had been recovered, though a separate video he sent showed workers counting 18.

He said the warehouse located near the Chadian border was sealed with red wax by the IAEA in 2020.

According to Al-Mahjoub, they agreed with the IAEA to keep the materials under guard, although he criticized the agency for its "failure" to provide them with protective clothes and masks.

He revealed that the deputy of the IAEA chief, Massimo Aparo, visited, last Wednesday, Haftar's forces HQ, where he informed them that they were aware of the missing barrels from the warehouse that had been breached from one side of its walls for likely to pull the uranium drums out.

He speculated that a group from Chad had raided the warehouse and taken the barrels hoping they might contain weapons or ammunition but had abandoned them, adding that they had safeguarded the material pending the agency's intervention.

On Wednesday, the IAEA said in a confidential statement to member states revealed by Reuters that it detected the missing uranium during a check at an unnamed site in Libya on Tuesday, which it had postponed last year because of the security situation.