Syrian Activists Accuse Assad Regime of Deadly 'Toxic Gas' Attack near Damascus , Dozens Dead

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BEIRUT (AP) - The U.S., Britain and France are demanding that a team of U.N. experts already in Syria be granted immediate access to the eastern suburbs of Damascus where activists claim government forces killed at least 130 people today with toxic gas.

Activists and opposition leaders provided videos and photographs showing rows of bodies, including more than a dozen children, wrapped in white shrouds. There was little evidence of blood or conventional injuries and most appeared to have suffocated. Survivors of the purported attack could be seen lying on gurneys with oxygen masks covering their faces, some twitching uncontrollably.

The Syrian government is adamantly denying it used chemical weapons in an artillery barrage targeting suburbs east of the capital, calling the allegations "absolutely baseless."

The U.N. Security Council is calling for "a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation."

Reports of chemical attacks have been impossible to verify. After months of negotiations, a U.N. team arrived in Damascus on Sunday to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. But the probe is limited to three sites.

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