[THS] UK admits using DU ammunition in Iraq
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Sat Jul 24 11:45:40 CEST 2010
UK admits using DU ammunition in Iraq
Fri, 23 Jul 2010 01:28:26 GMT
UK defense secretary says American and British forces used depleted uranium (DU)
ammunitions during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"UK forces used about 1.9 metric tons of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq
war in 2003," UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox said in a written reply to the House of
Commons on Thursday, the Kuwait News Agency reported.
The announcement came after a joint study by the environment, health and science
ministries in Iraq said there were communities near the cities of Najaf, Basra and
Fallujah with increased rates of cancer and birth defects over the past five years.
More than 40 sites across Iraq are contaminated with high levels of radiation and
Fox said the Ministry of Defense provided the coordinates of targets attacked using
DU ammunition to the UN Environmental Program.
"They also exchanged information with humanitarian and other organizations; and
warned Iraqis through signs and leaflets that they should not go near or touch any
debris they find on the former battlefield," he claimed.
The use of depleted uranium ammunition is widely controversial because of potential
long-term health effects.
It is reported that the US and Britain used up to 2,000 tons of these ammunitions
during the Iraq war.
The World Health Organization is now investigating the rising number of birth
defects, which Iraqi doctors attribute to the use of chemical weapons and depleted
uranium ammunition during the war.
Iraqi doctors say they' have been struggling to cope with the rise in the number of
cancer cases, especially in cities subjected to heavy US and British bombardment.
Iraq's Ministry for Human Rights is expected to file a lawsuit against Britain and the
US over their use of depleted uranium bombs in Iraq.
The ministry will seek compensation for the victims of these weapons.
* War-Related Health Problems in Iraq
* Iraq to sue US, Britain over depleted uranium bombs
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