Chem­i­cal weapons at­tack probed

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

PARIS: France wants an in­ter­na­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­cide whether Su­danese government forces used chem­i­cal weapons in Dar­fur after al­le­ga­tions in a “wor­ry­ing” re­port by Amnesty In­ter­na­tional.

The rights group said on Thurs­day that the Su­danese government had car­ried out at least 30 prob­a­ble chem­i­cal weapons at­tacks in the Jebel Marra area of Dar­fur since Jan­uary, us­ing what two ex­perts con­cluded was prob­a­bly a blis­ter agent.

A French for­eign min­istry spokesman, de­scrib­ing the re­port as “wor­ry­ing”, said the se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions had to be in­ves­ti­gated.

The rights group es­ti­mated up to 250 peo­ple might have died as a re­sult of ex­po­sure to the chem­i­cal weapons agents.

Su­danese UN Am­bas­sador Omer Da­hab Fadl Mo­hamed said on Thurs­day that the Amnesty re­port was “ut­terly un­founded” and de­nied Su­dan pos­sessed chem­i­cal weapons. Amnesty said the most re­cent at­tack had oc­curred on Septem­ber 9. Its in­ves­ti­ga­tion was based on satel­lite im­agery, more than 200 in­ter­views and ex­pert anal­y­sis of images show­ing in­juries. – Reuters

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