ICEC

Dozens reported killed in suspected Syria gas attack; Damascus denies

A chemical attack on a rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta killed dozens of people, a medical relief organization and a rescue service said, and Washington said the reports – if confirmed – would demand an immediate international response.

A joint statement by the medical relief organization Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the civil defense, which operates in rebel-held areas, said 49 people had died.

The Russian-backed Syrian state denied government forces had launched any chemical attack as reports began circulating on Saturday night. The government said rebels in the eastern Ghouta town of Douma were collapsing and spreading false news.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

The lifeless bodies of around a dozen children, women and men, some of them with foam at the mouth, were shown in one video circulated by activists. “Douma city, April 7 … there is a strong smell here,” a voice can be heard saying.

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