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'Strong evidence' Syria gov't used chlorine gas

BEIRUT--Evidence “strongly suggests” Syria's government used chlorine gas on three towns in mid-April in violation of the chemical weapons treaty it joined last year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday.

The New York-based watchdog cited interviews with witnesses and medical personnel, video of the attacks and photographs of the remnants of barrel bombs.

“Evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs embedded with cylinders of chlorine gas on three towns in northern Syria in mid-April 2014,” HRW said.

Doctors who treated victims said at least 11 people were killed in the attacks and “symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine” were seen in nearly 500 people, said the report.

It documented attacks on the towns of Kafr Zita in central Hama on April 11 and 18, Al-Temana in Idlib on April 13 and 18 and Telmans also in Idlib province on April 21.

All three are areas under rebel control.

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