Syria 'gas attack': latest pictures

By MSN UK News. Image: REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah
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Syrian opposition activists have claimed a government poison gas attack has killed at least 100 people.

The attack coincided with the visit by a 20-member UN team to Syria to investigate three sites where chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred during the past year.

The reported death toll would make it the deadliest alleged chemical attack in Syria's civil war. There have been conflicting reports, however, as to what exactly took place.

This picture shows a youth who survived the alleged gas attack, crying as he takes shelter inside a mosque in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus.

Click through for more images, which contain scenes that some may find disturbing

REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah
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Girls who survived the alleged gas attack rest inside a mosque in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus

Syria's information minister has called the activists' claim a "disillusioned and fabricated one whose objective is to deviate and mislead" the UN mission. The Egypt-based Arab League has condemned the "horrific attack" against civilians and called for an investigation.

REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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People affected by what activists say is nerve gas, are treated at a hospital in Damascus

France's president Francois Hollande demanded the United Nations be granted access to the site of the alleged attack, while Britain's foreign secretary William Hague said if the claims are verified it would mark "a shocking escalation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria."

REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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Survivors of the alleged gas attack rest inside a mosque

Syria is said to have one of the world's largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, including mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin. The government refuses to confirm or deny it possesses such weapons.

REUTERS/Ammar Dar
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A man, affected by what activists say is nerve gas, breathes through an oxygen mask in the Damascus suburbs of Jesreen

The head of the UN team in Syria to investigate previous claims of alleged chemical attacks said he wants to look into the latest claims. Ake Sellstrom said the high numbers of killed and wounded being reported "sound suspicious." He said a formal request from a member state would have to go through UN channels and Syria would need to agree - and there is no guarantee that it would.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abdullah
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A boy who survived from what activists say is a gas attack cries as he takes shelter inside a mosque

The EU's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, said the accusations should be immediately and thoroughly investigated. "The mission must be allowed full and unhindered access to all sites on the Syrian territory according to its requirements," her office said in a statement. Germany and Turkey also called for immediate UN access to the site of the alleged attack.

REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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A survivor of the alleged gas attack vomits while recovering inside a mosque

REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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A boy holds a cup of water as he walks near survivors of the alleged gas attack

REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
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Syrian activists inspect the bodies of people they say were killed by nerve gas