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Syrian rebels say capture nuclear reactor site bombed by Israel

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Sun, 24 Feb 2013 16:11 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

AMMAN, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Syrian rebels have captured the site of a suspected nuclear reactor which Israeli warplanes destroyed six years ago, opposition sources in eastern Syria said on Sunday.

The site, about 60 km (35 miles) west of the city of Deir al-Zor, became the focus of international attention when Israel destroyed it in 2007. The United States said the complex was a North Korean-designed nuclear reactor geared to making weapons-grade plutonium.

Syria, which razed the site after the raid, said the complex was a regular military facility but refused to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency unrestricted access to the site.

Omar Abu Laila, a spokesman for the Eastern Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army, said the only building rebels found at the site was a hanger containing at least one Scud missile.

"It appears that the site was turned into a Scud launch base. Whatever structures it had have been buried," he said.

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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