UN experts start probe into alleged chemical weapons use in Syria

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a press conference in Seoul. [UN Photo/Evan Schneider]

United Nations experts investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria began their work on Monday although one of their vehicles was shot at, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In a note to the press, Secretary-General Ban says that he spoke to the head of the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, who is now in the Syrian capital, Damascus, to oversee the investigation.

According to the Secretary-General, the first day of the investigation was carried out by the head of the UN Chemical Weapons Investigation Team Dr. Åke Sellström and his colleagues.

"What I am told at this time is that their vehicle was attacked by an unknown sniper, but despite such very difficult circumstances, our team returned to Damascus and replaced their car and proceeded to a suburb of Damascus to carry on their investigation. They visited two hospitals, they interviewed witnesses, survivors and doctors, they also collected some samples." (29")

Secretary-General Ban said he expects to get the views of Dr. Sellstrom later.

In the meantime he has instructed Angela Kane to register a strong complaint to the Syrian Government and authorities of opposition forces so that this will never happen and the safety and security of the investigation teams will be secured.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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