Taiwan may start providing small-arms ammunition to American troops fighting in Iraq. The United States has sent letters to Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Italy and South Africa asking for help, according to Taiwan's Apple Daily. Quoting unnamed Taiwanese defence ministry sources, the daily said the Presidential Office had agreed to provide free of charge 40,000 bullets each for three types of machine guns - the 5.56mm, 7.62 mm and .50 calibre. US troops in Iraq are firing their way through about 5.5 million rounds of small arms ammunition per month, raising concerns about a shortage. If the Taiwanese ammunition is found to be of sufficiently good quality, the US might ask Taipei to become a paid supplier of ammunition on a long-term basis, the newspaper said. The defence sources said Taiwan had a huge stockpile of ammunition and selling some of it to the US could help ease oversupplies. The defence ministry declined to comment on the report. But opposition legislators criticised the move, saying it could jeopardise the island's security in the face of threats of retaliation from terrorists. They said the terrorists had warned other countries against helping the US in Iraq. Terrorists killed a South Korean and recorded the killing in a videotape sent for television release after failing to get agreement from Seoul to withdraw its troops sent to help the Americans.