(WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES) Syrian 'gas' death toll tops 100
on 21/08/2013 12:47:06
Syrian forces. Pic: AP
At least 100 people have been killed in what Syrian activists claim is a poison gas attack during a fierce government offensive near Damascus.
The government denied its troops used chemical weapons , dismissing the claims as baseless.
Rami Abdul-Rahman from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said he has documented at least 100 deaths from the attack, adding it was not clear whether the victims died from shelling or toxic gas.
Other activist groups, including the Local Coordination Committees, claim hundreds died in the "chemical weapons" attack in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, basing it on symptoms suffered by the victims.
This citizen journalism image, provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows dead bodies of Syrian children in Arbeen town, Damascus, Syria, today. .
Such different figures from activists are common in the aftermaths of attacks in Syria, where the government restricts reporting.
Meanwhile the head of the UN inspectors' team visiting Syria said he wanted to look into claims of the chemical weapons attack.
Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom said the high numbers of killed and wounded being reported "sound suspicious", adding that this "sounds like something we need to look into."
Mr Sellstrom said a formal request from a member state would have to go via UN channels and Syria would need to agree.
In this citizen journalism image, provided by the Local Committee of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Syrian man shows the body of a dead baby in Arbeen town, Damascus, Syria, today. .