Monday, 10 August 2009

Depleted Uranium Ammunition in Afghan War: New Evidence

The section on DU munitions begins with:

During the operation “Enduring Freedom” in support of the Northern Alliance against the Taliban-Regime, US-aircraft used, amongst others, armour-piercing incendiary munitions with a DU-core. Because of its pyrophoric character, when this type of munition is used against hard targets (e.g. tanks, cars) the uranium burns. During the combustion, toxic dusts can be deposited, particularly at and around the targets, which can then be re-suspended easily.

It then warns troops how to recognise contaminated targets and of the potential health threat from DU munitions, suggesting precautions that troops should take. It is notable that they suggest the use of full Nuclear Chemical and Biological warfare suits:

DU-munitions can therefore induce toxic and radiological damage to exposed personnel through heavy metal poisoning and very low-level radiation. When it is suspected that these weapons have been used (burnt out cars or tanks, burnt out convoys, typical 30mm bullet holes) NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection suits and NBC masks have to be worn in the vicinity of the munitions’ impact, until NBC security troops can rule out any threat.

DU weapons must be banned. There can be no excuse. The US, UK and other Governments that employ these munitions must BAN them immediately. Furthermore a criminal investigation must be launched into how these toxic weapons were allowed into use since their long term effects on people and the environment are in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, August 10th, 2009.]

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