UN experts conduct planned activities at suspected Iraqi weapons sites

UN experts conduct planned activities at suspected Iraqi weapons sites

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United Nations experts investigating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction today conducted their fourth day of on-site inspections, a UN spokesman reported.

On Saturday, members of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) inspected the Balad Chemical Defence Battalion located some 90 kilometres north of Baghdad, according to Hiro Ueki, a spokesman for UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

That facility “conducts training activities in the area of chemical, biological and radiological defence for military personnel and was considered by Iraq as one of the 'sensitive sites,'” Mr. Ueki told the press in Baghdad.

“The inspection team arrived unannounced at the site and had immediate access,” he added, noting that experts were able to conduct all planned activities there.

Meanwhile, an eight-person IAEA team completed two inspections at the Um Al Maarik Company, a facility which Mr. Ueki said was “known for its dual use capabilities,” and at the Al Meelad Company, where the former Al Furat centrifuge facility had been located.

“The IAEA inspection team was able to conduct the inspection activities as it had planned and did not face any difficulty with access to the sites and locations inside,” the spokesman reported.