Iraq Destroys Six More Banned Missiles, Two Warheads

Iraq scrapped six more Al-Samoud 2 missiles and two empty warheads Monday, bringing the total number of missiles destroyed in the past three days to 16, a UN spokesman confirmed.

The destruction work was carried out at the military facility in Taji, 40 kilometers north of Baghdad, under the UN supervision, UN inspection team spokesman Hiro Ueki told Xinhua.

Uday al-Tai, director general of Iraq's Information Ministry, said earlier Monday that six Al-Samouds were destroyed by midday Monday.

Ueki added that a casting chamber used in making the missiles was destroyed and a second one was being destroyed later Monday. Two similar chambers gave been scrapped over the weekend.

He also revealed that a UN chemical team supervised the destruction of 14 empty 155mm artillery shells, 10 of which had contained mustard gas, at Al-Muthanna. The mustard gas taken out of the shells is being neutralized, he said.

Under mounting international pressure and the threat of war, Iraq apparently stepped up its cooperation with UN inspectors on Monday as it promised to submit a report on the anthrax and VX nerve agents it claimed to have destroyed a decade ago.

The Iraqi side it will present a more detailed report concerning anthrax and VX destruction in a week, Ueki said.

Iraqi officials and UN experts held a three-hour-plus "technical meeting" Monday on the chemical and biological weapons which Iraq claims to have destroyed in 1991.

The United States and Britain have massed over 200,000 troops in the Gulf region poised to invade Iraq to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.

General Amer al-Saadi, Saddam's senior advisor, warned Sunday that Baghdad could halt the process if it became clear that the United States was going to wage war against Iraq regardless of its disarmament efforts.

People's Daily Online ---