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Weapons incinerator up and running

ANNISTON (AP) — The Army says its chemical weapons incinerator is up and running again following a three-month shutdown for maintenance.

The incinerator, located at the Anniston Army Depot, has begun destroying 155 millimeter artillery shells armed with VX nerve gas — the most lethal nerve agent. A spokesman said the first shells were destroyed Sunday afternoon.

In March, workers incinerated the last of 36,000 rockets filed with VX.

Mike Abrams, an Army spokesman for the facility, said workers destroyed the first shell around 2 p.m. Sunday.

The incinerator began destroying chemical weapons in the Cold War-era stockpile in 2003. When all the artillery shells and land mines are destroyed, officials plan to start destroying weapons armed with mustard blister agent. They hope that work will begin next year.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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