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Serb boss links to Saddam bunkers.

Byline: MILORAD IVANOVIC in Belgrade EXCLUSIVE

BALKAN dictator Slobodan Milosevic helped Saddam Hussein build secret bunkers to stash chemical weapons.

Investigators have exposed the part played by Yugoslav engineers in creating the underground complexes, including one under Saddam's vast palace in Baghdad.

The details emerged two years after the fall of Serbian dictator Milosevic.

The British and Americans want details of the bunkers before an attack on Iraq.

They fear they could contain weapons, or be a refuge for Saddam himself.

Intelligence agencies have discovered that ties between Saddam and Milosevic were much stronger than previously thought and existed until just months before he was deposed.

Milosevic, on trial in the Hague for genocide, is also feared to have given highly sensitive missile technology to Iraq, as well as sharing research on poison gas.

A Yugoslav defence official said the country's official arms exports to Iraq were more than dollars 1billion. There may have been other, unofficial, exports.

A Yugoslav army insider said: "The Americans have excellent satellites but don't know what is going on underground. They are interested to find out the detailed structure of the underground buildings.

"They are worried they are being used to store and produce chemical and biological weapons. They want to know the weak points."

Yesterday, a source close to the US government said: "We are pressing Belgrade to co- operate on this issue." But the US Embassy in Belgrade said the report was "speculative".

OSAMA McLADEN - Page 43
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Oct 6, 2002
Words:245
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