Baghdad agrees to hand over list of scientists; U.S.-British bombing kills three Iraqis
Warplanes from the U.S.-British coalition bombed Iraqi military command and communication targets Thursday near Talil in southern Iraq, the U.S. military announced.
The official Iraqi News Agency, quoting a military spokesman, said three civilians were killed and 16 others wounded in the attack. It said the "evil American and British violated our airspace" and "attacked our civilian, and service installations in Basra and Nasiryah."
Meanwhile, Baghdad will hand over to the United Nations in the next few days a list of hundreds of Iraqi scientists who have worked on nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs, a senior Iraqi general said Thursday.
"The list will be ready within two to three days and it will be sent to the U.N. Security Council at most by Sunday," Lt. Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin, head of Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate, told a news conference in Baghdad.
However, it seems there is a new row over Iraqi scientists involved now or in the past in weapons development, and the terms and conditions of the interviews by UN inspectors.
The United States insisted that the inspectors exercise what it considers their power under UN Security Council resolution 1441 and bring the scientists - with their families - out of Iraq to be interview without fear of retribution or intimidation.
Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan bridled at the suggestion, saying Thursday Baghdad had accepted the UN resolution on inspections "not to accommodate the Americans and their evil allies, but to unveil before public opinion the terrorist aims and aggressiveness of the United States."
Questioned about the US demand to take the scientists out of the country, Amin said: "We do not think it is necessary. People are free to accept these interviews or to refuse them.
"Not the National Monitoring Directorate, the Iraqi government, UNMOVIC (the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission) or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can constrain anyone to be interviewed.
"We leave (the scientists) the choice to accept or refuse," he said, according to AFP. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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