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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Afghans' uranium levels spark alert - By Alex Kirby

A small sample of Afghan civilians have shown "astonishing" levels of uranium in their urine, an independent scientist says.
 
Critics suspect new weapons were used in Afghanistan
He said they had the same symptoms as some veterans of the 1991 Gulf war.
 
But he found no trace of the depleted uranium (DU) some scientists believe is implicated in Gulf War syndrome.
 
Other researchers suggest new types of radioactive weapons may have been used in Afghanistan.
 
The scientist is Dr Asaf Durakovic, of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), based in Canada.
 
Dr Durakovic, a former US army adviser who is now a professor of medicine, said in 2000 he had found "significant" DU levels in two-thirds of the 17 Gulf veterans he had tested.
 
In May 2002, he sent a team to Afghanistan to interview and examine civilians there.
 
The UMRC says: "Independent monitoring of the weapon types and delivery systems indicate that radioactive, toxic uranium alloys and hard-target uranium warheads were being used by the coalition forces." There is no official support for its claims, or backing from other scientists.
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