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If a nuclear weapon had been used, the people who are investigating the depleted uranium would also be finding caesium and strontium isotopes
The possibility of Natural Uranium remains under investigation. Local geological samples and controls do not substantiate a source other than the OEF bombing. There are no geological, commercial and agricultural phenomena or activities and uses in the environs of the contaminated populations that might explain the contamination. UMRC invites reasonable explanations and continues to investigate alternatives or evidence that might explain origins other than uranium-alloyed and composite uranium-high-explosive ordnance deployed by Operation Enduring Freedom.
There are no geological, commercial and agricultural phenomena or activities and uses in the environs of the contaminated populations that might explain the contamination.
Some officials even said that Afghanistan has top-quality deposits of uranium in the southern province of Helmand and the Pamir plateau in the north, all discovered by the Russians in the 1960s.
Illegal uranium mining in Afghanistan unabated
Smugglers and unscrupulous elements are busy illegally excavating mines to plunder Afghanistan's uranium and gold reserves in Kohistan district of the northern Faryab province.
Officials and residents charged on Sep. 7, 2005, the uranium brought huge windfalls to the unauthorized excavators.
Officials at the Ministry of Mines and Industries admitted "irresponsible elements" were digging the site for precious metals. They said they were trying to prevent as soon as possible the brazen plunder of the assets belonging to the Afghan government and people.
A Kohistan-based mineral expert told Pajhwok Afghan News rapacious men, with no expertise and equipment, dug out large quantities of prized metals including uranium, gold, copper, lead and azure.
The glowing stones, often mishandled by the callow men, were smuggled to an unknown location, alleged Eng. Khan Mirza, who deplored the massive reserves were being exploited in a non-professional way.
The brazen practice was rampant during previous governments as well, he said while stressing an early end to what he called a loss of impoverished Afghanistan's abundant mineral resources.
Tucked away in the jagged Hindukush mountain range, Siku mines are situated 148 kilometres southeast of the provincial capital city of Maimana. (Pajhwok Afghan News/Asia Pulse, Sept 9, 2005)
"Map of Uranium (Radium) Contents of Afghanistan (Western Area)," compiled by V. N. Kirsanov and R. S. Derzhimanov.