Syria says rebels use chemical weapon in "dangerous escalation"

BEIRUT Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:12am EDT

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi accused rebels of firing a chemical weapon in the northern province of Aleppo on Tuesday which he said killed 16 people and wounded 86, most of them critically.

Zoabi said Turkey and Qatar, which have supported rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, bore "legal, moral and political responsibility" for the attack, state television reported.

It quoted Zoabi as saying the rebels fired a rocket from the Nairab district of southeast Aleppo city into the town of Khan al-Assal, 5 miles southwest of the city, calling it a "dangerous escalation".

(Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Janet Lawrence)