Taliban Again Claim US
Using Chemical Weapons
By Sayed Salahuddin

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's ruling Taliban accused the United States on Monday of using chemical weapons and invited foreign observers to check the claim.
But one deputy minister acknowledged that the war-shattered country did not have the facilities to test for chemical use.
"We have some patients with superficial injuries with symptoms of chemical weapons," doctor Wazir of Kabul's Wazir Akbar Khan hospital, told a news conference.
Public Health Minister Mullah Abbas also said the hardline Muslim militia had proof that chemical weapons were being used.
"Our findings prove that this is true. These bombardments have radioactive rays and chemical materials that also cause cancer," he told the same news conference.
Both men cited cases of chemical poisoning. None of the claims could be independently verified.
Deputy public health minister, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, said the government did not having testing facilities and would welcome outside observers.
"If there are more cases coming, we hope to be able to invite delegations to verify it and test it," he told Reuters Television.
Doctors said such cases had been reported in several hospitals across Afghanistan, and Stanikzai cited between 10 and 15 cases.
"We can give details to people and doctors who understand for explanation. But we have several cases of acute diarrhea and also cases of breathing problems. In some of the cases it happened that people died," Stanikzai said.
"We do not have sophisticated laboratories in Afghanistan to test the blood of people and analyze it," he said, adding that the Taliban could not trust neighboring countries to carry out the testing because they backed U.S.-led attacks against them.
Wazir described the case of a 10-year-old boy with superficial wounds, but with respiratory problems who died after six hours.
He said a 50-year-old woman who had minor injuries had also died.
"They were both toxic cases," he said. "We don't have the ability to make a diagnosis, but clinically we see symptoms as such."

This Site Served by TheHostPros