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UN germ warfare experts probe food-processing facilities in Iraq

UN germ warfare experts probe food-processing facilities in Iraq

United Nations germ warfare experts in Iraq today probed two food-processing facilities in a bid to uncover information about Baghdad's clandestine weapons programme.

A biological team of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) inspected the food processing facility at Baquba, approximately 50 kilometres northwest of Baghdad, according to UN spokesman Hiro Ueki. “Subsequently, the team inspected the Biology Department of the College of Sciences at Baquba University,” he said.

A second biological team inspected another food processing company in the Diyala area, and then visited the Diyala Tuberculosis and respiratory disease centre, Mr. Ueki added.

UNMOVIC missile experts today were at Al Kindi, a site involved in researching, developing and testing of missile systems. They also tagged imported SA-2 engines at the Ibn Al Haytham and newly produced Al Samoud II missiles in the Taji area. In addition, a missile team went to Al Mamoun in connection with casting chambers that were destroyed by the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) but reconstituted by Iraq.

Meanwhile, an UNMOVIC chemical team visited Falluja III, located about 100 kilometres northwest of Baghdad. “This inspection involved the verification of declared items,” Mr. Ueki said.

The spokesman also reported that on Saturday, UNMOVIC multidisciplinary teams inspected the Hadr Ammunition Storage Facility outside Mosul. “The teams covered a vast amount of ground, which included roughly 300 storage warehouses, bunkers, brick stores, metal containers and external munitions dumps,” he said, adding that the inspection lasted the entire day.