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No proof of Iraq using banned weapons: Blix

Chief UN weapons inspector has said he has seen no evidence so far that Iraq used banned weapons in its ongoing conflict with allied forces

world Updated: Mar 28, 2003 11:20 IST

Chief UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix has said he has seen no evidence so far that Iraq used banned weapons in its ongoing conflict with the US-led coalition.

Asked by reporters at UN Headquarters on Thursday about reports that Iraq had used missiles that exceeded the permitted 150-kilometre range, Blix, executive chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), said what he had heard from US officials was that they had not seen any Scud missiles.

He said the Iraqis had probably used Al Fatah missiles which have a range of around 150 kilometres or "a wee bit over".

Asked whether the use of these missiles constituted a violation of UN norms, he said, "No, but the inspectors would like to have accurate information about it."

"So far we have not identified or heard from the allies that anything that was proscribed have been used," he added.

Queried about the likelihood of the Iraqis using chemical or biological weapons in case they possessed them, Blix replied that this was unlikely "because then the world would say they are liars".

"Besides it would also then change the attitude of the world towards the armed conflict," he added.

UN inspectors looking for banned weapons in Iraq were asked to leave by Secretary General Kofi Annan just before the coalition forces attacked Iraq last week.

First Published: Mar 28, 2003 11:20 IST