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|Thursday, January 18, 2001, updated at 09:21(GMT+8)|
Iraq Urges UN Inquiry Into Use of Depleted Uranium WeaponsIraq Wednesday urged the United Nations to order an inquiry into the use of depleted uranium weapons against it by the United States and Britain in the 1991 Gulf War.
In a letter to the United Nations, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Sharaf said "admission made by many US and British officials have confirmed that depleted uranium munitions were used against Iraq."
"Unusual pathological conditions of which Iraq has no experience prior to the war" had emerged since the end of the Gulf War," the foreign minister said.
"Seventy-five percent of cases involved children, who began to suffer increasingly from leukemia and congenital and genetic deformities," he said.
"Lung, digestive-tract, blood and skin cancers became increasingly widespread. The primary cause of all these types of cancer is exposure to radiation," the foreign minister noted.
He asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to order a prompt inquiry into the effect of the weapons on Iraqi civilians and said he had "legal and moral responsibilities" to do so.
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