Activists, medics: Gas attack near Syrian capital kills 40

A Turkish-backed Syrian rebel gestures as they gather in the city of Afrin in northern Syria. Turkish forces and their rebel allies are in control of the Kurdish-majority city of Afrin in northwestern Syria. (Bulent Kilic, AFP)
A Turkish-backed Syrian rebel gestures as they gather in the city of Afrin in northern Syria. Turkish forces and their rebel allies are in control of the Kurdish-majority city of Afrin in northwestern Syria. (Bulent Kilic, AFP)

Beirut — Syrian activists, rescuers and medics say a poison gas attack on a rebel-held town near the capital has killed at least 40 people.

The alleged attack in the town of Douma occurred Saturday night amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 80 people were killed in Douma on Saturday, including around 40 who died from suffocation.

Opposition-linked first responders, known as the White Helmets, also reported the attack, saying entire families were found suffocated in their houses and shelters. It reported a death toll from suffocation of more than 40.

The Syrian American Medical Society, a relief organisation, says 41 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

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