Updated: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 09:33:29 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

At least 100 dead in army bombing near Damascus: NGO

At least 100 people were killed in fierce army bombardment of rebel strongholds in the Ghouta suburbs of the Syrian capital on Wednesday, an NGO reported.


At least 100 dead in army bombing near Damascus: NGO

A picture taken on June 8, 2013 shows Syrian army soldiers patroling a street in the village of Buweida, north of Qusayr, in Syria's central Homs province. At least 100 people were killed in fierce army bombardment of rebel strongholds in the Ghouta suburbs of the Syrian capital on Wednesday, an NGO reported.

"This figure will surely go up. The raids and bombardment are continuing," said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers its information from activists and medics.

It did not comment on allegations by anti-regime activists that the army had used chemical weapons.

According to activists, almost 500 people died of gas inhalation and exposure to chemical weapons.

Syrian authorities, meanwhile, denied charges that the army used chemical arms.

"Reports on the use of chemical weapons in (the suburbs of) Ghouta are totally false," state news agency SANA said.

"It's an attempt to prevent the UN commission of inquiry from carrying out its mission."

Al-Watan newspaper said the Syrian government had "pledged to cooperate and facilitate the work" of a UN team of chemical inspectors who launched a mission in the country on Tuesday.

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