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UN biological, chemical teams move ahead with inspections in Iraq

UN biological, chemical teams move ahead with inspections in Iraq

United Nations inspectors in Iraq today continued their checks of biological, chemical and missile facilities in and around Baghdad.

A biological team from the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) inspected the Central Public Health Laboratory in Baghdad, which provides primary and reference clinical laboratory services, according to a UN spokesman.

A second biological team conducted an inspection of the Plant Protection Division #1 in Abu Ghraib, which is in charge of agricultural quarantine centres. “Its main activities comprise screening of imported and exported agricultural products and distribution of pesticides,” said Hiro Ueki, a spokesman for UNMOVIC and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Baghdad.

In the northwest area of Baghdad, an UMMOVIC chemical team inspected the Al Nida’a State Company, which manufactures various types of equipment, including dual-use items made out of corrosion-resistant materials.

An UNMOVIC team of missile experts also returned to the Al Samood factory, which had been previously inspected on 14 December. “The purpose of the visit was to conduct an accurate counting of missile engines,” Mr. Ueki said, noting that the factory belongs to the Al Karama State Company, which produces major components of Al Samood missiles and also assembles missiles at the site.

The spokesman added that an UNMOVIC multidisciplinary team inspected the Al Mahamoudiayah water treatment plant, a central chlorine store for water treatment plants outside Baghdad.

Meanwhile, inspectors from the IAEA visited the Al Sawary Est-Jihad site, which comprises two factories: one that produces resin and another non-operational fibreglass plant. “The purpose of the visit was to review if any changes had taken place at the site since 1998,” Mr. Ueki said.