UNITED NATIONS: Snipers shot at United Nations experts Monday as they sought to investigate a deadly chemical weapon attack near Damascus, a spokesman said.
But, after briefly pulling back, the investigators went to a field hospital where victims of last week’s attack were treated, UN officials said.
The lead vehicle in a convoy was hit “multiple times” by gunfire as the inspectors tried to reach Ghouta, east of the Syrian capital, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
No injuries were reported, but the team had to head back toward their base, Nesirky said.
“The first vehicle of the chemical weapons investigation team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area,” he said.
“As the car was no longer serviceable, the team returned safely back to the government checkpoint,” he added.
The UN team later went to a field hospital at Moadamiyet al-Sham to collect samples, a UN official said.
Hundreds of people were killed in an attack last week at Ghouta in which chemical weapons were allegedly used. Western nations have blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for the attack. The government has blamed opposition rebels.
The UN spokesman gave no other details on the venue of the sniper attack or from where the shooting came from.
But Nesirky “stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the team can safely carry out their important work.”