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Syria samples reportedly contain traces of uranium

November 11, 2008|The Associated Press

VIENNA — Samples taken from a Syrian site bombed by Israel on suspicion it was a covert nuclear reactor contain traces of uranium combined with other elements that merit further investigation, diplomats said Monday.

The diplomats -- who demanded anonymity because their information was confidential -- said the uranium was processed and not in raw form, suggesting some kind of nuclear link.

But one of the diplomats said the uranium finding itself was significant only in the context of other traces found in the soil or air samples taken by International Atomic Energy Agency experts during their visit to the site in June.

Syria says it has a rudimentary nuclear program that revolves around research and the production of isotopes for medical and agricultural purposes, and the uranium traces might have originated from there and inadvertently been carried to the bombed site. But taken together, the uranium and the other components found "tell a story" worth investigating, the diplomat said.

Israel bombed the site in September 2007.

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