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Egypt Warns Iraq of Impending War if It Doesn't Disarm - 2003-01-28


Egypt has called on Iraq to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors or face certain war. The warning came as the U.N. inspectors continue their work and Iraqi civilians train for war.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has frequently voiced his opposition to a U.S.-led attack against Iraq, but he is now warning Baghdad it must fully cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors or face certain war.

The Egyptian leader Tuesday told the Arabic language newspaper Al-Ittihad that the strike is coming unless Baghdad quits putting obstacles in front of international arms inspectors. He said the United States is determined to get rid of weapons of mass destruction, as he put it, regardless of the price.

Mr. Mubarak said an attack on Iraq is imminent unless there is complete disarmament and Baghdad abides by U.N. resolutions. He said armed conflict against Iraq would harm the entire region.

In Iraq, U.N. inspectors Tuesday continued their hunt for weapons of mass destruction, following Monday's report to the United Nations Security Council that criticized Iraq for not fully complying with U.N. demands for it to disarm.

U.N. arms experts returned to military warehouses where 12 empty chemical warheads were discovered earlier this month. A biological team checked out a grain silo north of Baghdad, while other teams went to Baghdad University and Babel University south of the capital.

Elsewhere, the AFP news agency says groups of Iraqi civilians are now being trained to use rocket-propelled grenades, mortar cannons and light machine guns in major Iraqi cities. Volunteers are said to be forming urban civilian defense forces to back regular army troops in the event of a U.S.-led attack against Iraq.

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