France to probe samples from Syria for sign of chemical arms
- Proponents of Article 370 should say how it has helped J&K: Rajnath Singh
- 1984 riots: Akalis protest over Capt Amarinder Singh's clean chit to Jagdish Tytler
- Supreme Court issues notice to Goa Police, agrees to hear Tejpal's bail plea in sexual assault case
- India does not need a govt that makes Hindus fight Muslims: Rahul
- Elections 2014 LIVE: Pt Channulal Mishra backs Modi but Bismillah's family won't
French authorities will analyse samples brought back from Syria by two journalists after they reported the Syrian army was using chemical weapons against rebel forces, a top official said today.
There have been mounting reports of the use of chemical arms in Syria, where a bloody conflict has raged for over two years and claimed more than 94,000 lives amid reports of widespread rights violations.
A top French government official, who wished to remain anonymous, said today samples had been handed over to authorities by the journalists, without saying where the samples were from. "We have agreed to analyse them," he said.
The official added that, like the United States and Britain, France had already analysed its own samples and concluded that there were "clues but no formal evidence" of the use of chemical arms in Syria.
The two reporters from French newspaper Le Monde said they had "witnessed over several consecutive days" the use of explosive chemical arms and their effects on rebel fighters in the outskirts of Damascus.
Photographer Laurent Van der Stockt reported that on April 13 he saw fighters "suffocating and vomiting" in the village of Jobar outside the Syrian capital after an apparent attack using chemical weapons.
The journalists said they had gathered witness accounts of the use of chemical weapons in a large area around Damascus.
One doctor in a rebel-held area told the newspaper that the weapons caused breathing difficulties, headaches and nausea, and could cause death if victims were not treated.
"The gases are used on the front on an ad hoc basis, avoiding widespread use that would easily provide irrefutable evidence," reporter Jean-Philippe Remy wrote.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said yesterday there were indications of "localised use" of chemical arms in Syria, and the United Nations has called on Damascus to let in UN investigators.
- 21-year-old dies in road mishap, one injured
- Ask Badals where is Ludhiana Metro: Bhattal to locals
- Arrests in priest murder case divide Catholic Church
- Short Change: EPFO to allot permanent account number to active subscribers by Oct 15
- India Inc profit set to grow, but margins under pressure
- Mulayam: Will amend Constitution for Muslim quota