Iraqis claim nuclear weapons found near Tikrit
Iraqi newspaper claims 3 nuclear weapons found near Tikrit
Report follows arrest of senior Ba'ath party member
No additional details available from US investigation
Story in full AN IRAQI newspaper reported yesterday that nuclear weapons had been found near Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit.
The reports, as yet unconfirmed, were attributed to anonymous political sources who were reported as saying that three nuclear warheads had been found when officials arrested a senior member of the Baath Party.
The United States military was last night investigating the reports made by the newspaper Al-Sabah.
"We did an initial check on the weapons question ... and we don't have any additional information at this time," a senior military official said in Baghdad.
But Iraqi interior ministry officials dismissed the news as unfounded.
Al-Sabah, a daily paper, opened last year with backing from the former US-led administration in Iraq.
The US and Britain had argued their case for war against Iraq largely on the basis that intelligence showed Saddam had amassed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons have been found.
Meanwhile, militants in Iraq took six foreign lorry drivers hostage and threatened yesterday to begin killing them one by one if their company did not end its business in Iraq and their countries - India, Egypt and Kenya - did not withdraw their citizens.