The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Traces of nerve gas found

Baghdad, April 27: Initial tests of 14 barrels of suspicious chemicals found at a site north of Baghdad by American soldiers have revealed traces of nerve agents and blistering agents.

A special forces reconnaissance team found the unmarked barrels with at least 150 gas masks at the site east of Bayji, around 130 miles north of Baghdad, according to an American journalist. More than 12 missiles were also discovered at a mobile chemical weapons laboratory.

David Wright, a reporter with the American television network ABC, said a platoon of chemical weapons experts from the US Armyís 1-10 Cavalry had been dispatched to carry out tests on the site. Their initial findings concluded that the barrels contained a mixture of three chemicals, including a nerve agent and blistering agent.

Lt Valerie Phipps, who is leading the weapons squad, said the preliminary tests were 98 per cent accurate. Full tests on the site are expected to take around a week. The find could be the evidence which proves American and British allegations that Saddam Husseinís regime possessed weapons of mass destruction.

But experts say pesticides can give false positive results as they can be made from the same chemicals used to produce mustard gas and the nerve gas Sarin.

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