Syria rejects widening of UN chemical weapons probe

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Syria rejects widening of UN chemical weapons probe

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Syria has rejected calls by the UN which wants to widen its investigation into the use of chemical weapons in the country.

There is currently an advance team of UN-backed experts in Cyprus waiting for permission to enter, but the government has asked the United Nations to only look into a chemical attack in March near Aleppo which it blamed on the rebels.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon says he wants an all-encompassing inquiry that would also look into alleged attacks in Damascus and Homs.

“We have made available over 15 experts who possess different skills and expertise, among them inspectors, but also medical and analytical chemists, so this will be up to the head of mission to decide whom he needs and he will determine the composition of the team.”

“I urge the Syrian government to be more flexible, so that this mission can be deployed as fast as possible.” Ban said.

Meanwhile Syrian state media claim at least 15 people have been killed and more than 50 wounded after a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle in Damascus.

This is just the latest in a series of such bombings in the capital in recent months, as the rebels push ever closer to Assad’s seat of power.