The report of nearly 350 tons of explosives missing in Iraq has become a major issue of the presidential campaign.
In the midwestern state of Iowa Wednesday, Democratic candidate John Kerry said the American people deserve an explanation. He said U.S. troops were never ordered to guard the munitions depot and accused President Bush of not doing his job.
Mr. Bush shot back in Pennsylvania (in the eastern US). He told Republican supporters that Senator Kerry is jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts. The president said it is possible the explosives disappeared before the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in March, 2003.
The interim Iraqi government said in a letter to a U.N. agency earlier this month the weapons were apparently stolen after the fall of Saddam Hussein in April, 2003, because of what it calls a lack of security.