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UN inspectors report finding empty chemical warheads in Iraq

UN inspectors report finding empty chemical warheads in Iraq

United Nations inspectors today found empty chemical warheads at a storage area in Iraq, according to a spokesman for the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) in Baghdad.

During a visit of the Ukhaider Ammunition Storage Area to inspect a large group of bunkers constructed in the late 1990s, an UNMOVIC multidisciplinary team discovered 11 empty 122 mm chemical warheads and one that required further evaluation, Hiro Ueki said.

"The warheads were in excellent condition and were similar to ones imported by Iraq during the late 1980s," Mr. Ueki said. "The team used portable X-ray equipment to conduct a preliminary analysis of one of the warheads and collected samples for chemical testing."

Meanwhile, UN inspectors visited the homes of two Iraqi scientists in Baghdad in search of documents, according to the UN spokesman. "Some documents related to past proscribed activities, dating from the early 1990s, [and] were taken for further evaluation," Mr. Ueki said.

In other inspection activities, an UNMOVIC missile team travelled to the Al Nidaa State Company, which manufactures specialized equipment used in the production of solid propellant rocket motors. The team held technical discussions with plant representatives in an attempt to verify information received during inspections of other sites within Iraq.

A second missile team inspected the Nissan 17 Factory in Baghdad, which produces moulds and casts for both military and civil applications, including components for the Al Samoud ballistic missile.

Another UNMOVIC team went to a couple of storage facilities in and around the Rasheed State Company for Production of Construction and Building Materials, the spokesman said.

Yesterday, a Mosul-based multidisciplinary team inspected the Mosul Technical Institute, which conducts agricultural research.