March 24, 2007

Chlorine cache found in Iraq

Weapons of man's destruction? Couldn't be, because Islam is the "religion of peace". Isn't that right, Ibrahim Hooper? Via Washington Times:

U.S. troops sweeping Baghdad have found containers of nitric acid and chlorine, raising concerns that insurgents are expanding their use of chemicals in the war for power in Iraq, military officials said yesterday. The containers were found as part of a larger cache of weapons discovered as U.S. and Iraqi troops cleared house after house in the Sunni-majority Ghazaliyah neighborhood in western Baghdad.

In a new twist in the Iraqi conflict, chlorine gas set off by suicide bombers in villages west of Baghdad killed at least eight and sickened hundreds last week. It was the first time the chemical was found in the capital. Athough both nitric acid and chlorine have a variety of industrial uses, finding them alongside weapons stashes in known terrorist havens signified a change of tactic for the fighters, said a U.S. military official who asked not to be named.

"We've seen them use caustic acid with improvised explosive devices to burn the skin," said the official, adding that although the acid does not increase the lethality of a bomb, it does make
it "nastier."

In one house in nearby Amariyah raided by Iraqi troops and the U.S. Army's Striker Brigade yesterday, soldiers found mortar shells stored in a bag in the front yard, along with a meat cleaver and a bomb fashioned from a propane tank.

Inside the house, clothing, photographs and children's toys were piled high in filthy corners. Black and white banners declared the rule of the Islamic Army, a Sunni extremist group.