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Expert says crew found arms clues.

Swedish arms experts found signs of an Iraqi programme for manufacturing prohibited weapons during a secret visit in June, their supervisor said yesterday.

Military and government officials played down the claims and criticised the visit, saying it was not authorised.

Two chemical and biological weapons experts travelled to Iraq to help a television team evaluate information it had obtained about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction, said Aake Sellstroem, from the Swedish Defence Research Agency, who authorised the visit. The information indicated Iraq had a programme for making chemical and biological weapons as late as last year, but yielded no clues about whether any actual weapons were made, he said.

'What this shows is that there was interest, organisation and activities involving weapons of mass destruction until 2002,' Mr Sellstroem said.

Mr Sellstroem said a TV crew from a Monaco-based production company, World Television Network, requested his help in evaluating information. Swedish Defence Minister Leni Bjoerklund criticised them for embarking on such a mission without government approval.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 5, 2003
Words:168
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