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Cheney says missing weapons would be under Saddam were it not for the war
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PENSACOLA, Fla. Vice President Dick Cheney says 400-thousand tons of explosives would be in Saddam Hussein's hands if the U-S had not invaded Iraq.

Cheney is the highest Bush administration official to respond to a report by the U-N's nuclear watchdog agency that 400 tons of high explosives may have fallen into the hands insurgents.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says it had warned the U-S-led coalition to secure the explosives, which were at a military site south of Baghdad. The materials are key components of plastic explosives like those insurgents have used in a bloody series of car bomb attacks.

The report of the missing munitions is being highlighted by John Kerry, who says that failure to guard such deadly material was "one of the great blunders of Iraq."

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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