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Syria Civil War:United Nations weapon inspectors shoot by sniper / Breaking News

U.N. vehicles transport a team of U.N. chemical weapons experts to the scene of a poison gas attack outside the Syrian capital last week, in Damascus

Weapons inspectors investigating an alleged chemical attack in Damascus have been shot at by snipers, the UN has said.

A UN vehicle is understood to have come under fire as the team visited a suburb of the city where hundreds of people were allegedly killed.

The alleged shooting came after two mortar bombs landed close to the hotel where the inspectors are staying.

Mr Assad’s regime said the team’s visit to Zamalka and Ein Tarma districts would prove claims that chemical weapons were used against civilians, including children, were “lies”.

The opposition claimed 1,300 people were killed, while Doctors Without Borders said 355 people died in hospital from “neurotoxic” symptoms.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the people of Syria deserved to know the truth, adding: “We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity.”

The international community continues to consider its response to the crisis, with the Foreign Secretary warning Britain and other countries could respond to the alleged attack without the unanimous backing of the UN.

William Hague said military action would not require the “complete unity” of the Security Council, telling the BBC: “Otherwise it might be impossible to respond to such outrages, such crimes.”

Meanwhile, David Cameron announced he was cutting short his holiday to chair a meeting of the UK’s National Security Committee.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander urged the Prime Minister to recall Parliament to “make his case in advance of a decision being made”.

A Downing Street spokesman said no decisions had been taken on military action and insisted there was no clear timetable.

More follows…

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