Friday 4 April 2003
American officials have admitted that the thousands of boxes of white powder they seized north of Baghdad are explosives.
The US military and various media outlets had suggested that they may have made the first discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq.
The claim that the Latifiyah complex was "a suspicious site" was made by a US colonel.
He also claimed to have discovered nerve agent antidote and Arabic documents relating to chemicals.
Colonel John Peabody, an engineer brigade commander with the 3rd Infantry Division, had stated troops found thousands of boxes, each of which contained three vials of white powder, together with documents written in Arabic about chemical warfare.
He said they discovered atropine, used to counter the effects of nerve agents.
The facility had been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency as a suspected chemical, biological and nuclear weapons site.
UN inspectors visited the plant at least nine times, including as recently as February 18.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)