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Somalia fingers Europe for toxic waste crisis

Companies dumped uranium, mercury and lead

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Somali MPs have asked for international help in clearing toxic waste dislodged by the Asian tsunami. They claim the hazardous material, including uranium, mercury and lead, was left by unnamed European companies who took advantage of the political anarchy in Somalia to turn the country's coastline into an illegal rubbish dump, Reuters reports.

MP Awad Ahmed Ashra told a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday: "The earthquake hit the coastline of Somalia and threw out containers containing toxic waste. There are several reports of a wide range of medical problems like abdominal hemorrhage, and unusual skin disorders."

Ashra's contamination claim is backed up by a recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report which confirms the presence of toxic material in Somalia. ®

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