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Iraq: UN Inspectors In Fresh Bid To Surprise Firm

Baghdad, 15 December 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A team of UN nuclear experts today swooped on the installations of a military-industrial company that they could not visit by surprise in a previous inspection. Three cars of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pulled up this morning in front of a facility of the Um al-Maarik (Mother of All Battles) General Company, 30 kilometers west of the capital Baghdad.

IAEA experts visited another facility of the same company south of Baghdad on 30 November, but the company director knew they were coming, denying the element of surprise deemed crucial to the inspections.

At least four groups of experts from the IAEA and the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) left their headquarters in Baghdad during the morning.