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Destruction of Iraqi missiles continues under UN supervision

Destruction of Iraqi missiles continues under UN supervision

UN inspectors in Iraq
The destruction of prohibited Iraqi missiles continued today under United Nations supervision, a spokesman for the world body reported in Baghdad.

"An UNMOVIC [UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission] missile team supervised the destruction of six Al Samoud 2 missiles at Al Taji," said Hiro Ueki. "Another missile team supervised the destruction process of a second casting chamber at Al Mutasim" – a process which is slated for completion tomorrow.

In other developments, an UNMOVIC biological team at the Al Aziziyah Airfield and Firing Range today successfully took samples from three intact bombs from among the R-400 bombs that Baghdad claims were filled with biological agents. Additional fragments of those weapons were also recovered and identified.

Chemical experts from UNMOVIC conducted a routine monitoring inspection of Falluja II, located approximately 100 kilometres northwest of Baghdad. Other officials from the Commission inspected an SA-2 missile support facility engaged in the final assembly of those arms.

A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspected a private trading company in central Baghdad, while a second IAEA team performed a car-borne radiation survey north of the Iraqi capital.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ueki reported that "UNMOVIC requested a private interview with an Iraqi engineer today, but the engineer was not available for the interview."

The spokesman also said that in addition to interviewing two Iraqi scientists on Friday, UNMOVIC had requested two more interviews that day. "The third interviewee, an Iraqi biological scientist, insisted that his interview be tape-recorded," Mr. Ueki said, adding that as a result, the meeting did not take place. "UNMOVIC was informed by the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate that the fourth interviewee was no longer in the country."