France urges U.N. to visit site of reported gas attack in Syria

PARIS Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:03am EDT

French President Francois Hollande visits the IXBlue company in Marly-le-Roi near Paris, August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

French President Francois Hollande visits the IXBlue company in Marly-le-Roi near Paris, August 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande called on United Nations inspectors to visit the site of an alleged chemical attack near Damascus on Wednesday that opposition groups say killed hundreds of people, the government spokeswoman said.

"With regard to the information coming out of Syria, the president asks that the U.N. goes to the site," Najat Vallaud-Belkacem told a weekly news briefing.

If confirmed, it would be by far the worst reported use of chemical weapons in the two-year-old Syrian conflict. A team of U.N. chemical weapons experts arrived in Syria three days ago.

(Reporting By John Irish and Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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