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Malaysian police detain Australian activist

Published on Jun 23, 2014 3:59 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysian police were holding an Australian activist in custody after she was arrested together with 15 others protesting against a rare earth plant accused of producing radioactive waste.

Activist Natalie Lowrey was detained Sunday together with 15 Malaysians outside the plant of Australian miner Lynas Corp in the eastern state of Pahang, a district police official said.

The Malaysians have been released and could face charges later. But Ms Lowrey remains in custody for "investigations", the official said, declining to comment further.

Rare earths is a term used to describe 18 metals which are vital for many industrial and hi-tech processes such as the production of smartphones, hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, steel and low-energy light bulbs.

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