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Should the US disclose what weapons were used in Fallujah?

Ian Brimacombe Ian Brimacombe | 08:19 UK time, Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Hi, Ian here from World Update.

A couple of months ago, our World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, produced a harrowing report about the number of birth defects in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Watch it here:

He describes children suffering from paralysis or brain damage - and a photograph of one baby who was born with three heads.

The fact this is happening in Fallujah is significant.

In 2004, a US offensive against Fallujah became one of the fiercest battles of the Iraq war. Hundreds died. The US has admitted using white phosphorus, which is similar to napalm, in the fighting. There are also suggestions that depleted uranium munitions may have been used.

Some people believe that the high number of deformities in Falllujah's children is linked to the types of weapons used by American forces. That hasn't been proven. The World Health Organisation said it would investigate the trend in birth defects in Fallujah and compare it to other parts of Iraq.

Now, Iraqi families are taking legal action, not against the US - that was made impossible by US federal immunity laws - but against Britain, which was involved in the fighting and, the families allege, was complicit in the use of the weapons.

The British Ministry of Defence says,

"The MoD treats issues such as this very seriously, but allegations must not be taken as fact."

On Thursday, on World Update, we'll hear from the lawyer leading the legal challenge, Phil Shiner.

But we want to know what you think. Do we know enough about what happened in Fallujah? Should the US give a full disclosure about what weapons were used, and how?

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