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March 24, 2003


Brits seize Iraqi antiship missiles
Scotland's Glasgow Herald is reporting that Scottish troops from the Black Watch battle group yesterday discovered two Al Harith anti-ship cruise missiles among weapons in a bunker complex hidden beneath the As Zubayr civilian heliport south of Basra, in southern Iraq.

The newspaper says the soldiers found 24 reinforced underground bunkers and 48 arms storage sheds containing hundreds of thousands of rocket propelled grenades, mines, machine gun ammunition, fuses, and detonators, as well as the missiles.

One Al Harith long-range sea-skimming missile was on a stand awaiting the fitting of its rocket motor. Another was still in its crate in another bunker.

"Both weapons had Russian Cyrillic characters stencilled on their sides and were dated 2002," reports the Glasgow Herald. "A strict UN arms embargo on Iraq has been enforced since 1991."

In the bunker containing the exposed Al Harith, there was also a larger missile, between 30 and 40ft long, still in its shipping container. This was being left for bomb disposal teams. It also had Russian lettering.


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