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Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Child deformities 'increasing' in Falluja


A paediatrician and parents have told the BBC of a high level of birth defects among children in Falluja, Iraq, blaming weapons used by the US.

In 2004, there were fierce battles as US forces subdued two uprisings in the town. It has been suggested that they used white phosphorus and shells tipped with depleted uranium during the conflict, but this has not been proven.

The BBC's world affairs editor, John Simpson, has returned to the city. A doctor in a local hospital told him: "I have to be scientific... I have no proof and I have nothing documented, but I can tell you that year by year they were increasing." And figures suggest that up to 1,000 children in the mid-sized town have birth defects.

In a statement, the Pentagon said that "No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues. Unexploded ordinance, including improvised explosive devises, are a recognised hazard."


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