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UN Inspectors Make First Unannounced Visit to Iraqi Presidential Palace

Two separate U.N. disarmament teams made their first visit to one of Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces Tuesday morning, testing their new U.N. sanctioned powers to go anywhere at any time. Past inspectors were often denied access to such facilities or were forced to give prior notice before being allowed to enter presidential palaces. But such was not the case Tuesday.

Six white U.N. vehicles rolled up to the front gates of the palace for the first unannounced visit by weapons inspectors to a presidential site in Iraq.

Security guards reportedly radioed for authorization and within minutes the inspectors were allowed to enter.

The weapons inspectors spent about two hours inside the facility and left without making any comments.

The inspection of presidential palaces caused major confrontations during the previous round of inspections in the 1990's. Under the new U.N. resolution the inspectors can investigate any site they choose at any time.

Saddam Hussein is believed to have eight presidential palaces, three of them in Baghdad.

Iraq is facing a Sunday deadline to disclose all of its nuclear, biological and chemical programs. Iraq insists it possesses no weapons of mass destruction.