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Police Seize Nuclear Fuel, Suspect Iraq Connection

August 20, 1993

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) _ Police in northern Brazil have seized 1.4 tons of radioactive thorium, a nuclear fuel they said was probably destined for Iraq.

They said it was found Wednesday at a doctor’s home in Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon River 1,300 miles north of Brasilia.

Thorium is a rare, grayish element used in alloys, electronic equipment and as a nuclear fuel.

An informant told police the thorium was bought for $100,000 and would be processed in an unidentified Mediterranean country before reaching its final destination in the Mideast, said Demerval Aparecido Francisco, a federal police spokesman.

″By the precision of the tipster’s information, that country could well be Iraq,″ he said.

Iraq was a top trading partner of Brazil before the Gulf War. Brazilian aewrospace experts also worked on Iraqi missile technology.

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