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."