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UN INSPECTORS COME UP EMPTY

United Nations weapons inspectors wrapped up a search of Iraq's agriculture ministry yesterday and said they had found no evidence directly relating to weapons of mass destruction.

But team leader Achim Biermann of Germany, whose inspection ended a standoff laced with threats of United States military action against Iraq, held out the possibility that relevant materials could have been removed.

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Iraq's official press hailed the result of the three-week standoff with the Security Council as a victory for Iraq.