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NATO Troops Being Tested for Cancer

NewsMax.com Wires - January 2, 2001 

Washington -- NATO armies have begun testing soldiers for cancer following a number of deaths allegedly linked to the use of depleted uranium ammunition by U.S. pilots in Kosovo, the British Guardian newspaper reported Monday. 

France, Spain, Belgium and Portugal are studying the health of soldiers who served in Kosovo in order to test for radiation. Italy's military prosecutor is examining five deaths which some scientists link to ammunition used during the 1999 bombing of Serbian military targets there. 

In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman countered that there had been no problems with leukemia or other illnesses among American troops who served in the Balkans. 

The Guardian reported that Portugal would send experts from its national atomic institute to test radiation levels in Kosovo in the wake of the leukemia-induced death of a Portugese corporal. Relatives of some soldiers have accused NATO of carrying out a "coverup" of deaths allegedly linked to the uranium ammunition. 

In Italy, authorities are investigating the deaths of 15 soldiers diagnosed with cancer after returning from the former Yugoslavia. A military report leaked to an Italian newspaper recently said soldiers from that nation were dying from radiation-induced leukemia. 

Britain's Ministry of Defense, however, maintains that critics have exaggerated the threat from uranium, and that the substance was safe to touch and emits no more radiation than a household smoke alarm. NATO denies that a connection exists between uranium used in the 1999 war and soldiers' health problems. 

(C) 2001 UPI All Rights Reserved.

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