title: 'Syria thousands hospitalised with neurotoxic symptoms' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:

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    An international medical charity working with hospitals in the Syrian capital on Saturday issued a statement saying that thousands of people were hospitalised in Damascus in less than three hours on August 21 with “neurotoxic symptoms.” Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, works in conflict zones around the world supporting local medical professionals. On Saturday, amid conflicting claims over the use of chemical weapons in fighting in the Syrian capital earlier in the week, the humanitarian group shared information it has received from partner-hospitals on the ground. “Medical staff working in these facilities provided detailed information to MSF doctors regarding large numbers of patients arriving with symptoms including convulsions, excess saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress,” the statement cited MSF’s director of operations Dr. Bart Janssens as saying. The statement says that, according to information it has received, 355 of the 3,600 people treated reportedly died. In its statement, MSF made clear that it cannot say with any certainty who or what caused these symptoms, but did say that this “strongly indicates mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent. This would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law, which absolutely prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons.” (Voice of Russia, AFP)

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