No evidence that Iraq will use chemical weapons: Blix

Updated on Mar 27, 2003 02:50 PM IST

Recovery of chemical suits by US forces does not prove that Iraq has chemical weapons, said Hans Blix.

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HT Image
PTI | ByPress Trust of India, London

The uncovering of 3,000 chemical suits and masks at a hospital in southern Iraq by US marines does not prove Iraq has chemical weapons, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has said.

"I don't think it's evidence of weapons. It certainly raises suspicions that they (the Iraqis) might have expected use of chemical weapons and therefore have required it (the suits). I think we will have to find more solid evidence than this," Blix told BBC television on Wednesday.

US marines confiscated the chemical suits and masks from a hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah that had been used by Iraqi paramilitaries, the US military said on Wednesday.

In addition to the chemical suits, marines found more than 200 weapons, stores of ammunition and Iraqi military uniforms, and captured around 170 prisoners in the operation, the United States said.

Blix believes inspectors should have been allowed more time in Iraq to uncover possible weapons of mass destruction rather than being ordered out the country prior to the start of war.

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