DEFENCE `Ethnic weapon' nightmare ahead

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Military experts are warning of a terrifying new generation of biological weapons, resistant to treatment and designed to attack specific ethnic groups. The Pentagon has produced an internal report, which warns that biological agents could be genetically engineered to produce new lethal weapons.

These engineered agents would be able to resist detection, identification and treatment.

Professor Malcolm Dando, of Bradford University's Department of Peace Studies, explained there was a growing scientific capability to interfere with genetics.

"The human species is very diverse with differences in genetics and blood groups, for example," he said. "It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that if you put that together with what we are beginning to develop in gene therapy, you could end up with an ethnic weapon."

There is no definite confirmation that such fearsome weapons have yet been developed. However, it is believed that Iraq considered using camel pox during the Gulf War on Allied troops without the natural immunities in the blood of locals.