UN team at Syria army hospital on last day

2013-08-30 14:07
A UN arms expert collects samples, as they inspect the site where rockets had fallen in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb. (Ammar al-Arbini, AFP)

A UN arms expert collects samples, as they inspect the site where rockets had fallen in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb. (Ammar al-Arbini, AFP)

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Damascus - UN inspectors investigating apparent deadly poisonous gas attacks in Syria headed to a military hospital on Friday on the last day of their probe, a security official said.

The official told AFP they were going to the hospital in the Mazzeh district of the Syrian capital, where victims of gas attacks are reportedly being treated.

The team of UN experts has this week been investigating the chemical gas attacks that reportedly took place in the suburbs of Damascus on 21 August, and that the Syrian opposition says killed hundreds.

The inspectors left their hotel in UN-marked cars, accompanied by several vehicles belonging to Syrian forces, an AFP journalist reported.

Syrian authorities accuse rebels of having used poison gas on 24 August in Jobar, another Damascus neighbourhood, to push back an army offensive.

State television said some soldiers had been asphyxiated, and showed images of barrels that authorities reportedly found in the area containing "very dangerous toxic and chemical materials".

Western governments have blamed President Bashar Assad's regime for the alleged 21 August attack, but the Syrian government has strenuously denied being responsible.

If confirmed, it would be the deadliest use of chemical weapons since Saddam Hussein gassed Iraqi Kurds in 1988.

The UN inspectors are due to leave Syria by Saturday morning, and will report straight back to UN head Ban Ki-moon.

Read more on:    un  |  bashar assad  |  ban ki-moon  |  syria  |  syria conflict
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