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BEIRUT — Independent investigators were prevented by Syrian and Russian authorities Monday from reaching the scene of an alleged chemical attack near the Syrian capital, an official said, days after the U.S., France and Britain bombarded sites they said were linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program.

The lack of access to the town of Douma by inspectors from the watchdog group, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has left questions about the April 7 attack unanswered.

It is important to note that the article goes on to state the following:

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said Syrian and Russian officials cited “pending security issues” in keeping its inspectors from reaching Douma.

Syrian authorities were offering 22 people to interview as witnesses instead, he said, adding that he hoped “all necessary arrangements will be made … to allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible.”

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