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Iraqi Missile Destruction Continues; UN Inspectors Await VX Nerve Gas Report - 2003-03-14

Iraq says it is continuing to dismantle its Al-Samoud 2 missiles, as U.N. inspectors wait for a promised Iraqi report on its disposal of deadly VX nerve agent.

A senior diplomat in Baghdad told reporters Thursday that Iraq would hand over a report Friday explaining how it got rid of VX, followed by another report on anthrax in the coming days.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix had previously asked Iraq to submit documents to prove the weapons were destroyed, as Iraq claims. So far, U.N. inspectors have not been able to verify that assertion.

The United States and Britain say Iraq has failed to account for the deadly weapons. Iraq maintains it does not possess them.

Meanwhile, a U.N. spokesman in Baghdad said Iraq continued to dismantle Al-Samoud 2 missiles Friday at the Taji military base north of Baghdad. Since March 1, Iraq has destroyed more than 60 of the estimated 100 to 120 missiles, which the inspectors say can exceed the permitted range of 150 kilometers.