A United Nations team investigating claims of a poison-gas attack in a rebel-held suburb of the Syrian capital collected blood samples and interviewed survivors Monday despite being temporarily turned back by sniper fire.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said the team was returning to Damascus after completing its first day of inspection.
The six-car convoy carrying the team was initially thwarted and forced to return to a government checkpoint after being "deliberately" targeted while driving in the capital.
“Despite such very difficult circumstances, our team returned to Damascus and replaced their car and proceeded to a suburb of Damascus to carry on their investigation,” the secretary-general said.
“They visited two hospitals, they interviewed witnesses, survivors and doctors, they also collected some samples."
The investigation centers around a rebel-held suburb of Damascus known as Eastern Ghouta, where where activists say rockets loaded with poison gas killed hundreds of civilians on Wednesday, many of them women and children.