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Panel asks that Army destroy tons of old chemical weapons

A high-level scientific panel recommended Wednesday that the US Army be allowed to incinerate thousands of tons of obsolete, deteriorating chemical weapons - including lethal nerve gas munitions.

The panel rejected other options for destorying the chemicals - such as dumping them in the ocean or destroying them in a huge nuclear explosion.

''Some munitions have begun to leak,'' the National Research Council said in a 215-page report. ''Many munitions have become obsolete or unserviceable.''

The scientific panel, organized by the National Academy of Sciences, examines scientific questions for the federal government and issues recommendations.

Some of the deadly weapons are more than 40 years old.

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