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UN chemical weapons team hit by sniper fire in Syria

Posted By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Aug. 26, 2013 at 7:58 AM  |  Updated Aug. 26, 2013 at 8:07 AM   |   Comments

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Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The United Nations says that a team of inspectors investigating alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria have been hit with sniper fire.

Early Monday, a UN spokesperson tweeted that one of six vehicles transporting the chemical weapons team through the buffer zone to Damascus was targeted by unidentified snipers and rendered inoperable.

The team reportedly made it safely back to the checkpoint to replace the vehicle. A United Nations spokesperson elaborated in a statement on their website.

The first vehicle of the Chemical Weapons Investigation Team was deliberately shot at multiple times by unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area.

As the car was no longer serviceable, the Team returned safely back to the Government check-point. The Team will return to the area after replacing the vehicle.

It has to be stressed again that all sides need to extend their cooperation so that the Team can safely carry out their important work.

The team, made up of 20 investigators, has been in Syria since Aug. 18, and a temporary ceasefire had been in effect for their protection.

The Syrian government has been accused of launching deadly poison gas attacks, killing hundreds of rebels. The government blames the rebels for using nerve gas. The two-and-a-half-year conflict is estimated to have claimed more than 100,000 lives so far.

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