World Bulletin / News Desk
Libya has destroyed with the help of Western countries the last known large stockpile of chemical weapons from the era of Muammar Gaddafi, officials said on Tuesday.
Militia groups and armed tribesmen control parts of a vast OPEC-member country awash with arms where the Tripoli government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has struggled to enforce its authority much beyond the capital Tripoli.
Libya began dismantling its poison gas programme after signing the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2004 but the operation ground to a halt in 2011 when the NATO-backed uprising against Gaddafi broke out.
Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdelaziz told reporters that U.S., Canadian and German experts had helped destroy the chemical weapons stockpile in a region of southern Libya.
"The destruction in the region of al-Rawagha was conducted with utmost precision," he said, without giving details.
Libyan officials at the news conference said there were no other known batches of chemical weapons left.
Andrew Weber, the U.S. assistant defence secretary for nuclear, chemical and biological defence programmes, said that among the Libyan chemical stocks destroyed were 507 shells filled with mustard gas.
Gaddafi's government originally declared 25 metric tonnes of bulk mustard agent and 1,400 metric tons of precursor chemicals used to make poison gas munitions.
Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2014, 09:49