UN Team Reach Alleged Attack Site in Syria

World | August 26, 2013, Monday // 19:16|  views

A team of UN chemical weapons inspectors arrive at their hotel in Damascus, Syria, 18 August 2013. Photo by EPA/BGNES

UN inspectors appear to have reached one of the areas of an alleged chemical attack in Syria on Monday after sniper fire hit one of their vehicles.

The inspectors entered the town of Moadamiyet al-Sham and appeared to be inspecting the area with doctors, according to social media videos posted by activists.

The team had been on its way to inspect the scene of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburban area of Ghouta, after the Syrian government on Sunday agreed to grant the inspectors full access, the United Nations said.

The regime said its army would cease all hostilities as long as the U.N. inspectors are on the ground.

Sniper fire hit a vehicle used by a UN chemical weapons investigation team in Syria multiple times on Monday, according to the United Nations.

The team "returned safely back to the government checkpoint," a UN statement said.

The UN did not say who fired the shots, but the first car in the convoy was hit and the team returned to a checkpoint.

The vehicle was "deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area," the UN statement said.

"It has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the Team can safely carry out their important work."

There were no reports of injuries.

The team returned safely back to the government checkpoint and then returned to the area after replacing the vehicle.

UN experts are visiting the sites of suspected chemical weapons attacks in which hundreds died last Wednesday in the Syrian capital Damascus.

The experts are expected to take soil, blood, urine and tissue samples for laboratory testing from five locations on Monday and Tuesday.

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Tags: Steffen Seibert, Angela Merkel, Chancellor, government, German, US, Damascus, Syrian, UN, Syria, president, Bashar Al-Assad, United Nations, Russia, Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Germany, Guido Westerwelle


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