Sarin or sarin-like substance used in Syria chemical attack

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Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Victims of a chemical attack in Syria earlier this month were exposed to the highly toxic nerve gas sarin or a sarin-like substance, the organization investigating the incident has concluded.

More than 80 people died and 300 more were injured in the 4 April attack in Khan Shaykhoun in Idlib, located in the northwest of the country.

Dianne Penn reports.

Chemical weapons watchdog the OPCW had established a Fact-Finding Mission to confirm if chemical weapons had been used in the attack. 

Bio-medical samples collected during autopsies of three victims indicate that they had been exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance, the OPCW said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Similar results were found in samples from seven people being treated at hospitals. 

All analyses were conducted at OPCW-designated laboratories. 

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said: "While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible." 

He said the Fact-Finding Mission is continuing with interviews and a team is ready to deploy to Khan Shaykhoun "should the security situation permit." 

Dianne Penn, United Nations. 

Duration: 54″

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