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Photo: AFP
Mohamed ElBaradei
Photo: AFP
IAEA chief lashes out over Israeli raid in Syria
Mohamed ElBaradei accuses Jewish state of 'taking the law into its own hands', says 'if countries have information that another country is working on a nuclear-related program, they should come to us'

Chief UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei Sunday accused Israel of taking "the law into their own hands" with a raid on Syria, and demanded more information about what was hit.

  

Neither Israel nor the United States has furnished "any evidence at all" to prove that the Syrian site bombed last month was a secret nuclear facility, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency told CNN.

  

"That, to me, is very distressful because we have a system; if countries have information that the country is working on a nuclear-related program, they should come to us. We have the authority to go out and investigate," he said.

  

"But to bomb first and then ask questions later, I think it undermines the system and it doesn't lead to any solution to any suspicion, because we are the eyes and ears of the international community."

  

Israel has said it bombed a military target inside Syria September 6, but has provided no additional details, amid speculation that the target may have been a site storing nuclear materials from North Korea.

 

ElBaradei said he had been told by Syria that the site was a military facility and "has nothing to do with nuclear."

 

"I would hope if anybody has information, before they take the law into their own hands, to come and pass the information on," he said.

 

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has acknowledged for the first time that Israeli warplanes may have violated Turkey's airspace during the incursion into Syria, an official said Sunday.

 

Olmert apologized to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the two men met in London Tuesday, the Israeli official said.

 

Turkey had demanded an explanation from Israel after it was embarrassed by the discovery of jettisoned fuel tanks on its territory in the aftermath of the raid. 

 

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