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THE organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has said it is responding with serious concerns to the alleged chemical weapon assault in town of Douma,Syria

Reuters quoted the organisation’s head Ahmet Umzumcu as saying they were trying to see whether dozens of people were gassed to death in an attack.

The OPCW’s fact-finding mission, which was already investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war, was gathering all available material to establish whether chemical weapons were used, it said in a statement

Part of the Hague-based OPCW’s work will be to clarify what chemical agent may have been used, including the possibility that a cocktail of toxins may have been dropped on the neighborhood.

The suspected attack over the weekend killed at least 60 people and injured more than 1,000, according to a Syria medical relief group said.

The Syrian government denied its forces had launched any chemical assault, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said such allegations were false and a provocation.

In Douma, witnesses spoke of smelling chlorine, while doctors said the symptoms looked more like that of a nerve agent.

Professor Raphael Pitti, a doctor who viewed videos taken at the scene, said patients appeared to have had convulsions more typical of sarin poisoning.

“Everything suggests that during the second attack, chlorine was used to conceal the use of sarin at the same time,” Pitti said

A doctor at the scene said some patients had also suffered from hemoptysis, or coughing up blood, a symptom that has never been seen in previous chemical attacks in Syria.

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