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Russia: Strike on Syria could mean nuke disaster

Thursday - 9/5/2013, 12:03pm  ET

AP: 59325f35-b1e6-4ca1-b5d2-45aca2d2f06a
Black columns of smoke from heavy shelling in Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

VIENNA (AP) -- Russia is warning that a U.S. strike on Syria's atomic facilities might result in a nuclear catastrophe and is urging the U.N. to present a risk analysis of such a scenario.

The warning comes from Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich. He said in a statement Wednesday that a strike on a miniature reactor near Damascus or other nuclear installations could contaminate the region with radioactivity, adding: "The consequences could be catastrophic."

IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor told the AP in an email Thursday that her agency is ready to "consider the questions raised" by Lukashevich if it receives a formal request to do so from Moscow.

Russia's Interfax news agency says that Moscow intends to bring up the issue at next week's 35-nation IAEA board meeting.


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