At least 58 dead in ‘toxic gas’ attack in Syria

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that children are among at least 58 killed and dozens injured after what they believe was a gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province. An AFP correspondent has since reported a hospital treating the survivors has been bombed.

 

More than 58 people,  nine children included , were killed in an air raid that released “toxic gas” on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun on Tuesday, a monitor said.

The attack caused many people to choke or faint, and some had foam coming from their mouths, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, citing medical sources who described the symptoms as possible signs of a gas attack.

Locals said the attack began in the early morning on Tuesday, when they heard planes in the sky followed by a series of loud explosions after which people very quickly began to show symptoms. They said they could not identify the planes. Both Syrian and Russian jets have bombed the area before.

The Russia’s defence ministry claimed not responsible for this horrific act,  telling the State-run newspaper that it carried out no bombing runs in the area on Tuesday.

The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using such weapons and the Syrian army could not immediately be reached for comment at this moment.

Opposition activists and the AFP news agency, citing one of its journalists on the scene, later said a rocket had slammed into a hospital where the victims were being treated, bringing rubble down on medics as they struggled to deal with victims.

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The Observatory monitoring group, which tracks the war through a network of contacts on the ground, was unable to confirm the nature of the substance used.

 

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