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In Sardinia,an Italian island in the Mediterranean sea,there is a drilling experimental firing range called “Salto di Quirra”, located in Perdasdefogu, a small village. Since the 1st of July 1956, along a natural area of 120 square kilometers in the south-east coast of the island, various types of rockets and missiles are tested under the authority of the Italian Air Force.
This is the only firing range of Italy used for space activities, arms and means testing and military drilling for wars around the world.
It’s a small place in a small island but it hides a big and important truth. Many lambs and other animals which were born in this land have six legs or no eyes, a high rate of fetal malformations and of tumors and leukemia affect the population that lives in the villages around the firing range.
The medical research of the last ten years shows that the number of people affected by tumor disease is constantly increasing in this area, and researchers are analyzing the possible causes and the links between these cases and the arms used in the firing range of Quirra. A syndrome that seems to have much in common with the pathologies contracted by the soldiers who came back from missions in Afghanistan, Iraq or the Balkans regions. The reason of these similarities seems to be related to the usage of depleted uranium munitions, or to the presence of heavy metals nanoparticles.
Many charges for suspect deaths and for tumors cases have been filed by the inhabitants of the villages around the Salto di Quirra and by the soldiers who had worked there but, especially by the farmers that graze their flocks in the surroundings.
This area is one of the less populated of the island therefore the high incidence of diseases and malformations in the population has attracted the attention of various researchers that are trying to investigate about this “strange” situation.
Until now indifference have been the way followed by the institutions and the politicians. In many years of unofficial research nothing certain has been declared and nowadays there are very conflicting opinions about this case. Fortunately now the solicitor’s office of the area has blocked the activities of the firing range to start an official investigation. Also the Italian Government has approved the necessity of the investigation to make clear the situation.
A special team of researchers led by Antonietta Morena Gatti, a nanoparticles expert and a consultant of the national parliamentary commission of depleted uranium inquiry, have been charged with monitoring and analyzing all the finds and the reports about the subjects living or working in that area which have been affected by tumor disease in the last years, with the aim to verify the relations between the substances present in the firing range and those found in the human tissues.
During the last weeks some arms have been seized to make precise checks. The latest news say that some of them present traces of enriched uranium, the radioactivity rate recorded is five times higher than the normal. But as always there is no certainty.
The investigations should carry on until June 2011. The hope is that finally there will be real and clear explanations. Besides for the inhabitants’ health, the range is also damaging to the environment. The sea floor in front of the Salto di Quirra is an actual bombs and rockets cemetery devastated by the explosions. The arms underlie the sea over the years.
Real proof but not even one certainty yet in this small and unknown angle of Europe in the heart of the Mediterranean sea. Meanwhile different interests interlace and clash, the truth has yet to come to light.