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UN inspectors search 8 Iraqi sites for banned weapons
( 2003-01-12 08:55 ) (7 )

UN arms inspectors on Saturday searched eight suspected Iraqi sites for prohibited weapons of mass destruction, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

A team of chemical experts from the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) went to the TikritUniversity, some 200 km north of Baghdad.

The inspectors visited colleges of science, agriculture, engineering, medicine and women's education belonging to the university in the northern city of Tikrit, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's hometown.

Some UNMOVIC missiles experts also paid their returned visit to the Ibn Sina State Company in Tarmiya, some 40 km north of Baghdad,the Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement said.

Iraqi scientists in the 1980s had reportedly tried to enrich uranium to a level suitable for atomic bombs at the Ibn Sina military complex.

A team of UNMOVIC biological experts returned to the Al-Dabash and the Al-Adil warehouses in Baghdad's Hurria district, both of which had been inspected by the UN experts.

The multi-disciplinary inspection team based in Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, on Saturday went to inspect a dairy plant in the northern city, the statement said.

Nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visited the Qa Qaa explosives plant, 60 km south of Baghdad,and the Ibn Al-Haitham plant of the Saddam State Company, some 130 km southeast of the capital.

UN arms experts aboard two helicopters flew to the K-3 oil facility near the town of Haditha, some 300 km northwest of Baghdad, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement said.

But Hiro Ueki, the inspectors' spokesman, said a mixed team of arms experts had flown by helicopter to an area 300 km northwest ofBaghdad to inspect a disused airfield.

The UN weapons experts resumed their hunting for prohibited weapons of mass destruction in Iraq on Nov. 27 after a four-year suspension.

The inspectors, who had so far searched more than 300 suspected sites in Iraq, must give their first report to the UN Security Council about Iraq's weapons programs by a Jan. 27 deadline.



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