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Cancer Cases on Sharp Increase in Iraq’s Al-Anbar after US Use of Banned Munitions

“The radiation of prohibited ammunition used during the US occupation of Iraq is the most important cause for the heightened number of cancer patients in al-Anbar province,” an oncologist in the province was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language Afaq news channel on Wednesday.

He noted that people in al-Anbar are facing different problems risen from the Americans’ use of banned weapons and munitions, and said that cancer is a disease whose treatment is much costly, while people in the province cannot afford it, and even the few that could bear the huge expenses are facing shortage of cancer drugs.  

The US troops used white phosphorus in the offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja in 2004, the US said.

“It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants,” spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable said.

The US had earlier said the substance – which can cause burning of the flesh – had been used only for illumination.

The US state department had earlier confirmed white phosphorus had been used in Falluja very sparingly, for illumination purposes.

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