Destruction of al-Samoud missiles starts
Iraq agreed to start destroying its al-Samoud missiles Saturday.
Iraqi Information Ministry official Uday al-Taei said four of the missiles would be destroyed by U.N. inspectors and Iraqi experts Saturday. "An agreement was reached by which the destruction process would commence in the Taji area (north of Baghdad) with the destruction of four al-Samoud missiles," Taei told reporters after 90 minutes of talks between senior weapons inspectors and Iraqi experts.
Hiro Ueki, spokesman for the inspectors, confirmed the talks were successful and said the destruction process would start in the afternoon. Later, an Iraqi official said Iraq destroyed four Al Samoud 2 missiles Saturday as ordered by U.N. weapons inspectors.
Ueki also announced that the inspectors had resumed interviews with Iraqi scientists, interviewing a biological weapons expert and a missile expert on Friday evening — the first such interviews since Feb. 7.
According to Reutrs, Taei said a major component of the missile -- the mold for the solid fuel component -- would be destroyed Sunday. He said "a timetable and action plan" had also been agreed for the coming days.
General Amir al-Saadi, an adviser to President Saddam Hussein, and top U.N. weapons inspector Dimitri Perricos discussed ways of destroying the missiles during their talks at the headquarters of the Iraqi Monitoring Directorate in Baghdad. (Albawaba.com)
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