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[casi] BBC correspondent in Tuwaitha

By Chris Morris
BBC correspondent in Tuwaitha
Radiation sickness fear in Iraq

Doctors in Iraq are becoming increasingly concerned about the extent of
radiation sickness among people living near the country's largest nuclear
facility, south of Baghdad.

It is thought they were contaminated when barrels used to store uranium at
Tuwaitha were looted in April.

The uranium was tipped out, and the barrels were used to store water and
wash clothes.

New cases of suspected radiation sickness are being reported every day, at a
hospital close to Tuwaitha.

US test ban

Doctors say about 20 people a day, many of them children are coming into
hospital with bloody diarrhoea.

Some have fallen sick because of parasites in the local water supply, but
tests prove that others, as many as five a day, have no infection.

The doctors believe they have been poisoned by radiation.

Barrels containing low enriched uranium, also known as "yellow cake" were
taken from the Tuwaitha facility in April and washed in a local river.

Their contents were dumped on the ground.

Now the number of people falling ill is steadily rising.

A few patients known to have had close contact with looted materials show
signs of acute radiation sickness: skin rashes, nose bleeds and vomiting.

A team of UN experts has been at Tuwaitha trying to account for the missing
nuclear material, but the United States as the occupying power is not
allowing them to carry out any medical examinations on local people.

Doctors say tens of thousands of Iraqis live in the area which may have been

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