Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

'Uranium traces' at Syrian site

Undated photo released by CIA of alleged nuclear reactor under construction in Syria.
The IAEA has been investigating claims of secret Syrian nuclear activity

Traces of uranium have been found at a Syrian installation suspected of being a nuclear plant, diplomats linked to the UN's nuclear watchdog have said.

The traces could have come off equipment or inspectors' clothes, but still needed more investigation, the diplomats told journalists at the IAEA.

The leak by unofficial sources was denounced by the Vienna-based watchdog which is due to report on its findings.

Syrian officials had no comment. The site was bombed by Israel in 2007.

Since then the International Atomic Energy Agency has been examining claims of secret nuclear activity at the al-Kibar desert site in northern Syria.

The IAEA has not confirmed the findings, saying evaluation was still under way, but it was "regrettable" that people were trying to prejudge the IAEA's technical assessment.

The agency is for the first time preparing a formal written report on its investigations in Syria, ahead of its next board meeting at the end of November.

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