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U.N. Inspection Team Visits Two Facilities Near Baghdad

November 29, 2002|From Reuters

BAGHDAD — U.N. experts inspected an animal vaccine production lab and an active munitions factory Thursday near here on the second day of a hunt for suspected banned weapons in Iraq.

The inspections went mostly smoothly, as they did Wednesday, when the inspectors resumed work after a four-year absence.

The United States has threatened a military assault if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein obstructs the inspections. Iraq has denied possessing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

Two teams of inspectors accompanied by Iraqi officials spent several hours at the two facilities.

One group went to a foot-and-mouth vaccination laboratory in the Dora area. The once-government-run facility has been defunct since weapons inspectors dismantled its equipment in 1996.

The other team went to a complex in the Taji area where factories produce light conventional ammunition and heavy civilian machinery.

At the Dora facility, the inspectors noticed that some equipment was missing and were told by the Iraqis that it had been moved to another facility a month ago. When they demanded to see that facility, they were driven there by the Iraqi minders.

The inspectors also ordered debugging equipment for their headquarters.

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