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Russia demands probe into claims of chemical attack in Syria


10:33, March 21, 2013

MOSCOW, March 20 (Xinhua) -- There is no credible evidence that chemical weapons were used in Syrian domestic conflict, a senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday.

"The news about use of chemical weapons in Syria must be thoroughly investigated. So far, there are no credible evidences of that," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on his Twitter account.

On Tuesday, a Syrian diplomat said a rocket with a chemical warhead was launched from a rebel-controlled area in Syria's province of Aleppo and hit a military post in the town of Khan al-Asal, killing at least 21 civilians and 10 soldiers.

"We have already warned about the danger that chemical weapons could fall into the rebels' hands, which would push Syrian crisis to a new level of confrontation," Gatilov said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Washington also said it did not believe the Syrian government's allegations that the rebels launched a chemical attack near Aleppo.

In a non-related development, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone to the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

According to the ministry's website, the two men have discussed the situation in Syria in light of the refusal of the Syrian opposition and AL from dialogue with Damascus.

Moscow believed this contradicted the Geneva Communique which proposed the creation of a transitional government in Syria.

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