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Syria 'tried to build reactor'

The head of the United Nations nuclear agency has said for the first time that Syria tried to secretly build a nuclear reactor.

Yukiya Amano said the target destroyed by Israeli warplanes five years ago "was a reactor under construction".

Syria denies the bombed building had any nuclear uses and also rejects claims that it is hiding secret atomic activities.

Previous International Atomic Energy Agency reports have suggested that the structure hit could have been a reactor.

But Mr Amano's comments were the first time the agency has said so unequivocally.

Syria has stonewalled IAEA attempts to follow up on an initial 2008 visit to the site.


From Belfast Telegraph