Iraq: January 11, 2004

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It was confirmed that three dozen 120mm Iraqi mortar shells, found yesterday by Danish troops, contained Mustard gas. This is a blistering agent first used during World War I (1914-1918). Iraq developed production technology for mustard gas in the 1970s, began producing it in large quantities in 1981 and first used it in combat against Iran in 1983. Nearly 3,000 tons of Mustard were produced by Iraq during the 1980s, and over 20,000 Iranians and Iraqis were injured by it. The Danish troops found the shells south of Baghdad, buried in the desert and wrapped in plastic. Some of the shells were leaking. It was estimated that the shells had been there at least ten years. Iraq agreed to get rid of it's chemical weapons in 1991, but delayed compliance throughout the 1990s. 

 

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