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UN security team under fire in Duma, Syria

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – A United Nations security team came under fire on Tuesday during an exploratory mission in Douma before international experts investigating an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city were deployed, a UN official said Wednesday.

“A United Nations security team came under fire yesterday during a reconnaissance mission in Douma,” the official told AFP. “No one was injured and they returned to Damascus.”

Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were waiting for a green light from the security team before they began investigating the alleged attack.

An apparent attack on nerve gas on Duma on April 7 killed more than 40 people, medics and doctors said. Western countries blamed the Syrian regime.

UN experts arrived in Damascus on Saturday when Britain, France and the United States launched military strikes against what they said were targets linked to the Syrian chemical weapons program.

The official, who declined to be identified, said the security team would remain in Damascus with experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the time being.

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had not yet begun their mission, pending a green light from the UN Security Council.