U-S military officers say initial tests indicate they may have found evidence of chemical weapons at two sites in Iraq.
Officers with the 101st Airborne Division say troops discovered buried barrels they believe could contain the nerve agents sarin and tabun and a blister agent. The barrels were found at a paramilitary camp at Hindiyah, near Karbala in central Iraq. More detailed testing is be carried out.
National Public Radio reports another find of possible chemical weapons. The network cites a US officer with the First Marine Division who says troops found about 20 medium-range missiles equipped with possible sarin and mustard gas at a warehouse near Baghdad Airport. The commander said the missiles were ready to fire, and that the chemicals were not just trace elements.
U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he cannot confirm the reports. He cautioned that it takes days to test any suspicious substances to get reliable information.
Iraq has consistently denied that it has chemical or biological weapons. The United States and Britain launched war against Iraq to rid the country of Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction.