Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 15:37 UK

UN visits Syrian 'nuclear site'

Undated photo released by CIA of alleged nuclear reactor under construction in Syria.
The US has said Syria's reactor was similar to a North Korean one

UN nuclear inspectors are reported to have gone to a site in Syria at the centre of allegations that the country has been working on nuclear weapons.

The United States and Israel accuse Syria of building a nuclear reactor at al-Kibar, which was bombed by Israeli warplanes last year.

Syria adamantly denies having any kind of nuclear programme.

Few details have been given of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visit, which began on Sunday.

The IAEA inspectors are due to return to Vienna on Wednesday.

6 Sept 2007: Israel bombs site in Syria
1 Oct 2007: Syria's President Assad tells BBC site was military
24 Oct 2007: New satellite images taken show site bulldozed clear
24 April 2008: US claims Syrian site was nuclear reactor

In April, Washington released pictures purporting to show North Korean experts inside the construction, which it said closely resembled a North Korean reactor at Yongbyon.

Syria has repeatedly denied it has any nuclear weapons programme, or any such agreement with North Korea.

Syrian officials have said the bombed site was an unused military facility under construction, but deny that it had anything to do with a nuclear programme.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has criticised both what he saw as a US delay in releasing information on the Syrian site and Israel's bombing of the site before his agency could inspect it.

Ahead of the visit, Mr ElBaradei called on Syria to show "absolute transparency" and to give the inspectors access to all sites they wished to see.

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