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Iran may have sent chemical shells to Libya

world Updated: Nov 22, 2011 00:13 IST
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The Obama administration is investigating whether Iran supplied the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons that Libya kept secret for decades, US officials said.

The shells, which Libya filled with highly toxic mustard agent, were uncovered in recent weeks by revolutionary fighters at two sites in central Libya. Both are under heavy guard and round-the-clock surveillance by drones.

The discovery has prompted a probe, led by US intelligence, into how the Libyans obtained them; sources said early suspicion had fallen on Iran. “We are pretty sure we know” the shells were custom-designed and produced in Iran for Libya, said a senior US official. A US official confirmed that there were “serious concerns” that Iran had provided the shells, albeit some years ago. Recently, UN inspectors released new information indicating that Iran has the capability to develop a nuclear bomb, a charge Iranian officials have long rejected.

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