Thursday, September 22, 2005

Depleted Uranium Toll Rises

Unusually large numbers of birth defects began to be reported in southern Iraq after the first Gulf War, with Basra particularly hard hit.

Now, as feared, a rising incidence of birth defects has spread north from Najaf to Baghdad.

According to Dr Nawar Ali, at the University of Baghdad, who works in the newborn babies research department:

There have been 650 cases in total since August 2003 reported in government hospitals - that is a 20 percent increase from the previous regime. Private hospitals were not included in the study, so the number could be higher.

Dr Ali blamed the rise on polluted groundwater, contaminated with radiation from depleted uranium used by coalition forces in the two Gulf Wars. Babies are being born with multiple fingers, unusually large heads, unilateral lips or no arms or legs.

The news comes amid reports that the number of deaths of Gulf War I Veterans from exposure to DU has topped 11,000.

Of the 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, more than 300,000 are on permanent medical disability. Terry Johnson, public affairs specialist at the VA, recently reported that veterans of both Persian Gulf wars now on disability total 518,739.

Depleted uranium is a crime against humanity.


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