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Syria: UN Inspectors Find 'Valuable Evidence'

Syria: UN Inspectors Find 'Valuable Evidence'

August 27, 2013 - Chemical weapons experts have gathered "valuable" evidence on a suspected chemical weapons attack near Damascus despite coming under sniper fire, UN officials said.

The attack came as David Cameron spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin amid increasing calls for international action over the alleged massacre. The Prime Minister has cut short his holiday and is expected to make a decision about recalling Parliament tomorrow.

The UN inspection team's lead vehicle was "deliberately shot at multiple times" as they left a government checkpoint during a visit to part of the Syrian capital where hundreds of people were reportedly killed, Martin Nesirky told Sky News.

None of the UN inspectors, who were dressed in body armour, was injured in the attack, which came after two mortar bombs landed close to their hotel. The vehicle's tyres and front window were damaged.

After the shooting, the UN inspectors were able to change vehicles and meet victims of the alleged chemical attack, taking samples for testing before returning to their hotel in Damascus.

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane leaves a hotel in Damascus The UN's Angela Kane leaves the inspectors' hotel in Damascus

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon did not blame either side for the convoy attack but said he had told his disarmament chief Angela Kane to make a "strong complaint" to the Syrian government.

His spokesman Farhan Haq said in New York: "It was a very productive day and once (the team) has made its evaluations it does intend to continue its work tomorrow."

Sources and more information:

UN chemical weapons team in Syria shot at by snipers and retreat from chemical attack site

Map: Syrian Arab Republic Snipers have shot at United Nations experts in Syria, forcing them to temporarily pull back an attempt to investigate a chemical weapons attack near Damascus. The attack by unidentified shooters further ratchets up tensions after a defiant Syrian president Bashar al-Assad declared that any strike by the US and its allies...

Syria: U.N. chemical weapons inspectors reach alleged attack site

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