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High Fire Danger Wednesday

Suspicious Finds in Iraq

While on his way to the Persian Gulf and South Asia, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says U.S. forces will be in Iraq and Afghanistan as long as it takes form a stable, democratic government in the two countries. Rumsfeld told reporters aboard his plane that long and dangerous work remains ahead in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers in Iraq have reportedly found 14 suspicious barrels, including one that preliminary tests indicate could contain a mixture of nerve and blistering agents.

According to news reports, the barrels were found about 25 miles North of Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit. They were in a
large weapons storage area that included missiles and missile
parts.

The Pentagon has not yet confirmed the find.

British journalists, with the Sunday Times, also found somd documents in the rubble of Iraq's intelligence service headquarters, which reportedly link Saddam Hussein's regime and Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network. The documents reveal a meeting between an al Qaida envoy and officials in Baghdad in March 1998. According to the report, the meeting was set to establish a relationship between Baghdad and al Qaida, based on their hatred of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

The Sunday Times says it also found documents in the Iraqi foreign
ministry that reveal Paris shared with Baghdad the contents of private transatlantic meetings and diplomatic traffic from Washington.


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