Traces of Enriched Uranium Found in Syria

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JERUSALEM, Israel - International Atomic Energy Agency officials found traces of enriched uranium at the Syrian site targeted by an Israeli air strike in September 2007.

The IAEA officials, who stipulated anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, said the traces of processed uranium indicate that the site was being used for some type of nuclear-related activity.

The officials said their findings - the traces of enriched uranium, coupled with air and soil samples taken at the site - will be detailed in a report distributed to the 35 members of the IAEA board on November 22, two days before the agency's general board meeting.

While Syria denies running a covert nuclear arms program, U.S. officials say the al-Kibar site leveled by Israel was a nearly complete reactor with the capability of producing plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

Syria, much like Iran, has allowed limited probing by the IAEA, saying that further investigation could compromise its military secrets.

The IAEA has sought permission to visit three other places in Syria to investigate their connection to the site that was destroyed and also determine if North Korea has been involved in developing Syrian nuclear program.

Sources: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Haaretz

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