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UN security attack stops inspectors entering Syrian town

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UN security attack stops inspectors entering Syrian town

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Attempts by chemical weapons experts to enter Syria's Douma to examine the site of a suspected gas attack appear to be at a standstill .

International frustration is growing at the delays in allowing the investigators from the OPCW to gain access to the suspected site.

Despite being told by Syria on Wednesday (April 18) that they would be allowed into Douma, an advance UN security team came under fire, preventing the visit.

It is now unclear if or when the inspecters will go in. The OPCW is tasked with seeking evidence of the alleged attack but not who was responsible. One week on and that evidence may be hard to trace.

But while Syria and its ally Russia have denied the attack even took place, one woman speaking in a refugee camp near Aleppo said she was gassed with chlorine.

Rasha Edlibi described smelling chlorine and the effect it had on her.

"We started to hear a lot of shelling sounds and after that we started to smell chlorine, a very strong smell. We didn't know what to do. We started to put masks on the children, but the smell increased more and more and I started to lose feeling and my eyes started tearing up and I was dizzy. My husband carried me to the medical point."

Medical relief groups say dozens of men, women, and children were gassed to death in Douma on the night of April 7.

The United States, France, and Britain launched missile strikes on Saturday (April 14) over the suspected chemical attack, the first coordinated direct Western military action against President Bashar al-Assad in seven years of war.

The suspected gas attack took place during the final days of a government offensive on Douma, the last town to hold out in the eastern Ghouta enclave that the army has recaptured since February.