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High radiation levels said to be found after Israel's Lebanon bombing

Scientists studying samples of soil thrown up by Israeli bombing in Lebanon have shown high radiation levels, suggesting uranium-based munitions were used, a British newspaper reports.

The samples were taken from two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri and have been sent for further analysis to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire, southern England, for mass spectrometry used by the Ministry of Defence, The Independent said.

The samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures," Chris Busby, the British scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, was quoted as saying.

Britain's Ministry of Defence has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples, the newspaper said.

In his initial report, Busby said there were two possible reasons for the contamination.

"The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or experimental weapon (eg. a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash," it said.

"The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium," Busby was quoted as saying.

A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium, the newspaper said.

also see
robert fisk: Mystery of Israel's secret uranium bomb

Israel has a poor reputation for telling the truth about its use of weapons in Lebanon. In 1982, it denied using phosphorous munitions on civilian areas - until journalists discovered dying and dead civilians whose wounds caught fire when exposed to air.

I saw two dead babies who, when taken from a mortuary drawer in West Beirut during the Israeli siege of the city, suddenly burst back into flames.

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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