Wednesday 13 November 2002

War In Iraq Could Kill Up To Four Million

A war against Iraq could escalate into a nuclear conflict that would kill nearly four million people and have catastrophic health and environmental consequences, medical experts said on Tuesday.

Even without nuclear weapons, as many as half a million people could die, civil war, famine and epidemics could occur, oil fields may be set ablaze and the entire region could be embroiled in the conflict.

Many more people would probably be displaced, economic collapse in Iraq could ensue and soaring oil prices could trigger a global economic crisis, according to global health organisation Medact.

"The need to ensure that Iraq is disarmed of its weapons does not warrant a war," said Gill Reeve, the assistant director of the group of doctors, nurses and health experts.

In a report, Medact considered how the substantial use of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) might trigger a nuclear response.

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