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UN Inspectors Arrive in Baghdad - 2003-06-06


For the first time since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, United Nations nuclear inspectors are back in Baghdad. The inspectors are trying to determine if nuclear material may have been stolen from a research facility.

The team of nine inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will inspect the al-Tuwaitha research center to see whether any nuclear material is missing and whether there has been any radioactive contamination at the site.

The inspectors begin working at the facility on Saturday.

More than 500 tons of natural uranium and almost two tons of low-enriched uranium were stored at al-Tuwaitha, which was Iraq's main nuclear research facility, located about 20 kilometers southeast of Baghdad.

The research complex was looted when the war ended. Coalition forces secured the facility April 7. Since then, about 100 barrels of nuclear material have been recovered.

The inspectors mission is expected to last about two weeks. They will be under the observation of coalition troops, and the media has been told it will have no access to al-Tuwaitha or the inspectors.

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