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another example of US (empty) allegations

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 

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

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