U.N. arms experts are conducting a "very comprehensive" inspection of Saddam Hussein's main presidential palace, which serves as the seat of the Iraqi government, a senior diplomat said Thursday.

The experts, searching for information on Iraq's banned weapons of mass destruction, searched the Republican Palace in Baghdad for a second day Thursday.Seventy-one inspectors and 20 diplomats went into the palace, a complex covering roughly 1 square mile and containing Saddam's main office, said Janet Sullivan, the spokeswoman for U.N. arms monitors.

Jayantha Dhanapala, the head of the diplomatic corps monitoring the inspections, said the search of the Republican Palace will go on for days.

"It is the most important site because of the fact that it is very much the seat of the government," Dhanapala said.

"The visit is going to be very comprehensive. It has been so yesterday and it will continue to be so," he said.

The compound houses the offices of the Special Security Forces, which protect the ruling elite, and the Republican Guard, a well-trained, well-equipped military force loyal to Saddam.