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UN team conducts probe at missile development site

UN team conducts probe at missile development site in Iraq

2 December – United Nations experts visited one of Iraq's principal missile development sites as weapons inspections in the country continued today.

The Waziriyah location of the Al Karama General Company, in the northern outskirts of Baghdad, "has had overall responsibility for development of the Al Samoud liquid propellant missile," said Hiro Ueki, a spokesman for the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In 1998, the site contained a number of pieces of equipment tagged by UNMOVIC's predecessor, the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), and several monitoring cameras. "None of these are currently present at the facility," Mr. Ueki said. "It was claimed that some had been destroyed by the bombing of the site; some had been transferred to other sites."

UNMOVIC was able to carry out the inspection tasks that had been planned at Waziriyah, which in addition to serving as the headquarters of the Al Karama Company is currently an engineering design, research and development facility.

Meanwhile, experts from the IAEA went to three small industrial sites, including two that had never been accessed by any inspection teams before. "Access was granted immediately and inspections were completed as planned, with the cooperation of the Iraqi counterpart," Mr. Ueki said. "The three sites proved to be dedicated to the production of alcohol."

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