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Syria: IS-controlled territory 'hit with chemical gas attack'

The Syrian regime has often been accused of using chemical weapons [AFP]

Date of publication: 12 December, 2016

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At least 34 people reported to have been killed after an aerial attack near the IS-held city of Palmyra.

An Islamic State group-held territory in Syria close to Palmyra has been hit by a suspected chemical gas attack on Monday, killing at least up to 84 people, activists have said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights the attack was north-west of the ancient city of Palmyra.

Locals were reported to have suffered from suffocation and dozens more were injured from rocket fire.

Witnesses reported seeing dead bodies with no visible injuries, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, indicating the possibility of a chemical attack.

The IS-affiliated Amaq news agency also reported the attack saying that the attack took place on the eastern side of the central province of Hama.

Activists said that nerve gas sarin was suspected of being used in the attack.

This caused at least 20 deaths and breathing problems for around 200 people, it added, alleging that Russia was perpetrated the attack.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

During the course of Syria's war, numerous reports of chemical attacks have emerged, most notably in Ghouta in August 2013. In this instance, up to 1,729 people were reported to have been killed when regime rockets struck the area with Sarin gas.

Both the Syrian army and Russia have stringently denied using chemical weapons. An investigation by the UN earlier this year found that both the Islamic State group and the Syrian army have regularly used gas.

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