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Syria blames “terrorist groups” for shooting at UN inspectors

Xinhua [1]
August 26, 2013

Syria’s state media on Monday blamed “armed terrorist groups” for firing at the UN chemical investigation team in the countryside of Damascus.

The UN team was shot at while entering the rebellious suburb of Muadamieh in western countryside of Damascus, after the Syrian competent authorities secured the team’s arrival to an area close to the parts under the rebels’ control in Muadmieh, the report said.

Earlier, an unnamed UN spokesman was quoted by the pan-Arab al- Maydeen TV as saying that there was multiple, deliberate shootings on the UN team, which caused damage to a car. He spelled no further details about the well-being of the team members.

The UN inspectors in Syria started Monday on-site fact-finding activities in the eastern al-Ghouta area in the countryside of Damascus to probe the alleged use of chemical weapons.

The team started its mission a day after the Syrian government granted it an access to the site of the alleged attacks.

On Aug. 21, the Syrian opposition claimed 1,300 people were killed in a chemical arm attack by the government on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus, which was strongly denied by the Syrian government.

The Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011 between government forces and armed opposition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, has led to killings of more than 93,000 people and forced more than 1.7 million people to flee the country.