UN inspectors shot at by snipers in Syria

United NationsWeapons inspectors investigating an alleged chemical attack in Damascus have been shot at by snipers, a UN spokesman has said.
The lead vehicle of the team was “deliberately shot at multiple times” as they visited a suburb of the city where hundreds of people were allegedly killed.
None of the inspectors, who were dressed in body armour, are believed to have been injured in the shooting, which came after two mortar bombs landed close to their hotel.
Bashar al-Assad’s regime said the team’s visit to Zamalka and Ein Tarma districts would prove claims that chemical weapons were used against civilians, including children, were “lies”.
The opposition claimed 1,300 people were killed, while Doctors Without Borders said 355 people died in hospital from “neurotoxic” symptoms.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said the people of Syria deserved to know the truth, adding “We cannot allow impunity in what appears to be a grave crime against humanity.”
The international community continues to consider its response to the crisis, with the British Foreign Secretary warning military action may be the only remaining option.
Martin Chulov is the Middle East Correspondent with the Guardian Newspaper. He says the UN inspectors had been expecting trouble.
“Just before they set off from the hotel, two mortars did land just outside their hotel; they were expecting some form of sniper fire or harassment fire as they set off for this area of east Damascus – it’s a totally rebel-held area” he said.
“They do not believe that there are rogue elements among them; they’ve guaranteed safe passage and have no interest whatsoever in making things difficult for the UN” he added.