UN holds emergency meeting on Syria attack

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Associated Press

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 7:33 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is backing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for "a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation" of allegations of chemical weapons use outside the Syrian capital.

U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey said earlier that the secretary-general was "shocked" at Wednesday's alleged use of chemical weapons on the eastern suburbs of Damascus and is determined to ensure a "thorough investigation" of all reported incidents.

After a two-hour, closed-door meeting, the council president said there was "strong concern" about the allegations "and a general sense that there must be clarity on what happened."

The attack coincided with the visit to Syria by a 20-member U.N. chemical weapons team, which only has a mandate to investigate three previous allegations of chemical weapons use.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, who briefed the council, expressed hope that the team will be given access.

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