March 20, 2013 / 3:17 PM / 4 years ago

Syria asks UN to investigate alleged chemical weapons attack

UNITED NATIONS, March 20 (Reuters) - Syria asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday to launch an independent investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack by "terrorist groups" near the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said.

"The Syrian government has requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to form a specialized, independent and a neutral, technical mission to investigate the use by the terrorist groups operating in Syria of chemical weapons yesterday against civilians," Ja'afari told reporters.

Syria's government and rebels accused each other of launching the deadly chemical attack on Tuesday, but U.S. and European officials say there is no evidence to suggest there was such an attack. If confirmed it would be the first use of such weapons in the two-year-old conflict. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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