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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 countries 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 cancer. 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 forthcoming 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 muscle-wasting illness. He added: "Depleted uranium will cause a lot more deaths through poisoning. We could be creating another generation of service personnel with terrible illnesses." 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 further research was needed. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.