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IAEA: Radioactive Equipment Missing in Iraq - 2004-04-16


The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency says Iraqi nuclear facilities appear to be unguarded and radioactive equipment has been smuggled out of the country.

Officials with the International Atomic Energy Agency say they do not know if the equipment was taken by looters or if it was removed as a part of cleanup efforts.

IAEA officials say satellite photos show "extensive removal of equipment and, in some instances, removal of entire buildings."

Agency investigations also said large quantities of debris and equipment from the Iraqi facilities, some of it radioactively contaminated, have been found in European scrapyards.

IAEA Director Mohammed ElBaradei raised the concerns in a letter that was sent to U.S. authorities three weeks ago. The agency says it is awaiting a reply from the United States.