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FORMER ARMY DOC SAYS URANIUM SHELLS MADE GULF WAR VETS SICK

PARIS, FRANCE - A former U.S. Army doctor, a colonel who researched the causes of Gulf War Syndrome at the Pentagon, says he may have found the clue as to why veterans came down sick in such large numbers after the end of Desert Storm.

Speaking before a medical conference here Sunday, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, now with the department of Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown University Medical School in Washington, said many Gulf War vets were suffering from renal and other diseases as a result of inhaling particles of depleted uranium used in anti-tank shells.

"Many of the patients examined suffered renal disease and failure, the clinical consequences of inhaled uranium," Durakovic told the European Association of Nuclear Medicine.

Durakovic also revealed he had come under "political pressure" from U.S. authorities to halt his research shortly after the Gulf War, Reuters reported. That was the time the U.S. military was still challenging the idea that a mysterious "Gulf War Syndrome" affected many veterans.

"I don't claim uranium contamination is the (main) cause of the syndrome, but the veterans we have tested show high levels of depleted uranium in their bodies," he said. More than 100,000 U.S., Canadian and British servicemen have complained of nervous disorders, musculor pains and generalized fatigue after taking part in the reconquest of Kuwait in 1991 after its invasion by Iraq, according to Agence France-Presse.


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