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US will use DU shells

Veterans' alert on uranium shells
By Macer Hall
(Filed: 23/09/2001)

The Telegraph, London

SHELLS with depleted uranium tips are being transported to the Middle East 
for use in
the war against terrorism despite concerns of health threats to thousands 
of Nato service
personnel, The Telegraph has learnt.

Veterans of the Gulf War and the Balkans who believe that the armour-piercing
ammunition caused them to suffer leukaemia and other illnesses, last night 
gave a
warning that a new generation of service personnel could be at risk. Nato 
has been
investigating complaints by former service personnel from several European 
that radioactive dust spread by the weapons made them ill.

A spokesman for the United States Defence Department confirmed that 
depleted uranium
shells were widely used in America's armed forces. The department refused 
to take any
action after a Pentagon report found no link between depleted uranium and 

The Ministry of Defence, which earlier this year agreed to test hundreds of 
veterans for
traces of uranium poisoning, also confirmed that depleted uranium rounds 
could be used
in a forthcoming conflict against terrorists. An MoD spokesman said: "We do 
still have
depleted uranium-tipped shells and, if we have to, we will use them." He 
added that the
only depleted uranium-tipped shells used in British Armed Forces were those 
fired by the
the Army's Challenger 2 tank.

Tony Flint, a spokesman for the National Gulf Veterans and Families 
Association, said:
"This is a major concern for us. Depleted uranium should not be used in any 
conflict. These weapons do not just affect the enemy, they have 
consequences for the
troops that go in on the ground after they are fired."

Mr Flint, a 54-year-old Gulf veteran, now suffers from fatigue and a 
illness. He added: "Depleted uranium will cause a lot more deaths through 
poisoning. We
could be creating another generation of service personnel with terrible 

Bernie McPhillips, of the Gulf Families Association, another campaign 
group, said: "If they
go ahead with a ground invasion, it is more than likely that depleted 
uranium weapons
will be used and there will be consequences for our troops. Until they 
develop a new
weapon, depleted uranium will continue to be used."

A recent investigation for the MoD by the scientists at the Royal Society 
found no
evidence of a link between depleted uranium and cancer, but conceded that 
research was needed.

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