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India concerned over reported chemical weapons use in Syria
Thursday August 22, 2013 10:14 PM, IANS

India said Thursday that it is a matter of grave concern if reports of use of chemical weapons in Syria are confirmed.

The external affairs ministry spokesperson said in a statement: "There have been media reports regarding alleged use of chemical weapons in areas near Damascus in Syria, resulting in a large number of casualties. If the use of chemical weapons is confirmed, it is a matter of grave concern.

"India has consistently supported the complete destruction and elimination of chemical weapons world-wide.

"Pending their elimination, it is vitally important to ensure safe and secure custody of chemical stockpiles and prevent their access to terrorists and non-state actors.

"We stress that the international legal norm against the use of chemical weapons anywhere and by anyone must not be breached."

Syrian rebel fighters have accused Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's forces of firing chemical-tipped weapons into rebel-held areas near Damascus, killing hundreds of civilians. Assad's government has denied the charges.

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