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Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 14:29 GMT
In pictures: Palace inspection
United Nations weapons inspectors have paid their first visit to one of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's palaces.

The team arrived without warning on Tuesday morning at the Sijood palace, one of eight sites high on the list of suspected hiding places for banned weaponry, and were let in after some confusion at the entrance.

Guard behind gate to palace
Access to Iraq's presidential sites was a difficult issue for previous inspection teams

Inspectors wait outside palace gates
This time there was confusion when the inspectors arrived...

Gate to palace
... while those inside sought instructions from the Iraqi leadership

Iraqi officials open the gates
Finally the huge gates swung open...

Sijood palace
... and the inspectors found themselves in the grounds of an Iraqi presidential palace.

Sijood palace
When the inspection was complete the Iraqis allowed the media a glimpse of the palace's sumptuous rooms

Sijood palace
Reporters were struck by the expense lavished on the Iraqi leader's residence
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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Ben Brown in Baghdad
"There was a short delay when the inspectors arrived"

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01 Oct 02 | Middle East
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