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Sarin Nerve Agent Bomb Explodes in Iraq


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#1    DC09

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 04:18 PM

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent exploded near a U.S. military convoy, the U.S. military said Monday. Two people were treated for "minor exposure," but no serious injuries were reported.


"The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found," said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq. "The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy.


"A detonation occurred before the IED could be rendered inoperable. This produced a very small dispersal of agent," he said.


The incident occurred "a couple of days ago," he said.


The Iraqi Survey Group is a U.S. organization whose task was to search for weapons of mass destruction after the ouster of Saddam Hussein in last year's invasion.


The round was an old `binary-type' shell in which two chemicals held in separate sections are mixed after firing to produce sarin, Kimmitt said.


He said he believed that insurgents who rigged the artillery shell as a bomb didn't know it contained the nerve agent, and that the dispersal of the nerve agent from such a rigged device was very limited.


"The former regime had declared all such rounds destroyed before the 1991 Gulf War," Kimmitt said. "Two explosive ordinance team members were treated for minor exposure to nerve agent as a result of the partial detonation of the round."


In 1995, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo cult unleashed sarin gas in Tokyo's subways, killing 12 people and sickening thousands. In February of this year, Japanese courts convicted the cult's former leader, Shoko Asahara, and sentence him to be executed.


Developed in the mid-1930s by Nazi scientists, a single drop of sarin can cause quick, agonizing choking death. There are no known instances of the Nazis actually using the gas.


Nerve gases work by inhibiting key enzymes in the nervous system, blocking their transmission. Small exposures can be treated with antidotes, if administered quickly.


Antidotes to nerve gases similar to sarin are so effective that top poison gas researchers predict they eventually will cease to be a war threat.

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#2    Fluffybunny

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 04:38 PM

Come on joc, here is your chance! thumbsup.gif  

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#3    gollum

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 04:40 PM

No WMD in Iraq eh? whistling2.gif  

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#4    stillcrazy

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 04:47 PM

This is being played big time on the major news networks. It also been noted that a shell with Mustard gas was located about two weeks ago. But had become inert due to the chemicals deteriorating to a point that there is no threat.  
The Sarin gas shell, used as a IED may have been stolen from a stock pile that was to be destroyed. It is also a possibility that these shells were returned to Iraq via the terrorist "Pipeline" from Syria. If you noted I said returned. There is mounting evidence that a fair number of weapons, up to five truck loads, moved from Iraq to Syria a year before the coalition forces invaded Iraq.  
It seems that the anti-democracy terrorist, will do anything to prevent Iraq from becoming a democratic country.
This little tactic, will in the end, provide the U.S. led coalition with the world support it lacked prior to, and during the war. In particular, if more chemical weapons are either used or found.

These idiotic terrorist don't seem to either know what they have, or how to use them.  But the fear will be if they manage to learn. To date, they have shown no real concern for the safety of the Iraqi people. And as most interviews with the Iraqi people have proven time and time again, most support the Coalition's effort to free the Iraqi people from a dictatorship.  


#5    Fluffybunny

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (gollum @ May 17 2004, 09:40 AM)
No WMD in Iraq eh? whistling2.gif

I had thought it was weaponS of mass destruction. Plural.

STOCKPILES was the word that Bush used to justify the invasion...If they find stockpiles, I would change my opinion.

Syria had better watch out, rumor has it that they have a stockpile of extra spicy couscous.  tongue.gif  

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#6    gollum

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 05:06 PM

Artillery shells do'nt come in packages of one. They come in pallet loads and you can bet your bottom dollar that where there was one, there will be plenty more.

What if they try and explode another one, are you going to say that 2 does'nt count or 3 or 15. At which point do you concider it remotely concievable that there are, infact, STOCKPILES of WMD in Iraq and have been for a many number of years. disgust.gif  

Two hundred pounds? I'm not trying to buy cocaine!

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#7    bathory

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 09:19 AM

great news for Bush politically
bad news for the world in general, the terrorists have got their hands on this stuff:(


#8    Seraphina

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 09:26 AM

"Iraq used sarin against the Kurds in the 1980s and experts said the shell was probably a left-over from those stock-piles. Prof Alastair Hay, of Leeds University, said: "It's an old munition, not something that could be used as evidence that Iraq had a massive programme of weapons of mass destruction."

- From todays issue of the Metro, in the Glasgow area

Steps should obviously be taken to be prepaired for future attacks of this sort...but I wouldn't get too excited just yet. It's possibly they just managed to get hold of a single left over from before the Gulf war...or at the very least, we can hope they did. One way or another, we're likely to find out over the next few days.

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#9    Lottie

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 09:47 AM

I really hope that is the case that its a one off. But, I have always felt that there have been wmd's over there so who know's.  


#10    stillcrazy

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 06:59 PM

Here's a third possibility: It was a shell found at a old attack site that had failed to explode when fired. Or a shell that an Iraqi military person dropped off a truck in the desert and was found by the local terrorist. Either way, if the yahoo's that are trying to prevent Iraq from becoming a free country are smart, they WILL NOT USE any more Chemical Weapons.

Just a thought.  





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