Friday, March 23, 2007

Sources: Chlorine, nitric acid found with weapons caches in Baghdad

U.S. army soldiers search an abandoned insurgent fighting position in west Baghdad's Ghazaliyah neighborhood today

BAGHDAD -- U.S. troops sweeping Baghdad have found containers of nitric acid and chlorine, raising concerns that insurgents are expanding their use of chemicals in the war for power in Iraq, military officials said yesterday.

The containers were found as part of a larger cache of weapons discovered as U.S. and Iraqi troops cleared house after house in the Sunni-majority Ghazaliyah neighborhood in western Baghdad.

In a new twist in the Iraqi conflict, chlorine gas set off by suicide bombers in villages west of Baghdad killed at least eight and sickened hundreds last week. It was the first time the chemical was found in the capital.

Although both nitric acid and chlorine have a variety of industrial uses, finding them alongside weapons stashes in known terrorist havens signified a change of tactic for the fighters, said a U.S. military official who asked not to be named.

Read the rest at the Washington Times

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