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Iraqi says alleged destruction an ancient castle BAGHDAD, Sept 16 (Reuters) - An archaeologist advising the Iraqi government said on Thursday a site that the United States described as a destroyed village was in fact an archaeological site under excavation. A U.S. report released on Monday, which accused Iraqi authorities of starving and repressing their own people, included aerial pictures showing destruction allegedly wrought by forces of President Saddam Hussein against opposition areas. The Iraqi government dismissed the claims as lies and said the report showed that Washington was feeling increasingly unable to convince the world to maintain U.N. sanctions on Iraq. Mouayad Saeed al-Damerji, a renowned Iraqi archaeologist advising the antiquities department at the information and culture ministry, told a news conference the U.S. pictures showed an ancient citadel under excavation in the northern city of Kirkuk. He said excavation work had resumed last year at the citadel, which he believed was first built in 2600 B.C. Houses on the site had been bought by the government in 1985 and residents had moved into the city then, he said. Damerji displayed a map of the site and pictures of the excavation. He said he had no doubts that the U.S. pictures showed the Kirkuk citadel. He and other archaelogists working at the site were astonished when they saw the U.S. pictures and heard the U.S. claims, he added. ``This is one of the continued American lies to justify the continuation of the aggression against Iraq,'' Damerji said, offering to take journalists to the site. Iraq has been under U.N. sanctions since it invaded Kuwait in 1990. It wants the sanctions lifted immediately but the United States, though considering easing the embargo, says they must remain in place until Iraq complies with the commitments it made to the United Nations after the 1991 Gulf War. 03:32 09-16-99 Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL. -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Please do not sent emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***