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UN's lying says Iraqi scientist.

Byline: DOMINIC TURNBULL

AN IRAQI scientist at the centre of the UN weapons probe yesterday launched a fierce attack on inspectors.

Kathim Mijbil accused UN chiefs of lying about his interview with their experts.

His comments came after it was alleged he told inspectors that Iraq had imported aluminium tubes - used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons - in 1987.

UN spokesman Hiro Ueki claimed that metallurgist Mr Mijbil had revealed details of a suspected plot to build nuclear arms.

"He gave technical details of a military programme," Mr Ueki said. "A possible prelude to a clandestine nuclear programme."

But yesterday, as Iraq handed the UN a list of more than 500 scientists who have worked on nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programmes, Mr Mijbil branded the reports as "grossly exaggerated".

He insisted the pipes were used solely for the production of short-range 81mm missiles which Iraq is still allowed to produce under current sanctions.

"I strongly deny these statements," he said.

-ISRAELI troops shot dead a Palestinian child in the Gaza Strip yesterday.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Dec 29, 2002
Words:173
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