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Iraq Continues Destroying Banned Missiles, Submits VX Gas Report - 2003-03-15


Iraq has submitted a report to the United Nations on VX nerve agent, which it says it has destroyed.

Iraq late Friday handed over to U.N. officials a 25-page report, in a mix of English and Arabic, which Iraq says details the quantities of the VX gas it produced and said was destroyed 12 years ago.

According to the Reuters news agency, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Aldouri, insisted the report provided what he described as "reliable evidence" that Iraq had gotten rid of all of its stocks of the gas.

The U.N. chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, had previously asked Iraq to submit documents to prove the chemical was destroyed, as Iraq claims.

Iraqi officials say a similar report on anthrax will be delivered soon, possibly early in the coming week.

Meanwhile, thousands of Iraqis Saturday took to the streets to protest, as the threat of war continued to grow.

At the same time, Iraq oversaw the destruction of more of its al-Samoud 2 missiles, at the Taji military base north of the capital Baghdad.

A U.N. spokesman did not clarify how many missiles were being destroyed Saturday, The Associated Press reported. Since the beginning of March, 65 of the approximately 100 missiles have been dismantled.

The news agency also reported that the inspectors visited a chemical and explosives production complex south of Baghdad as well as a medical facility.

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