||Hundreds dead in apparent chemical weapons attack in syria
The death toll from Syria's chemical weapons attack is now almost two-thirds higher than previously believed, Syrian state TV said on Sunday, in apparent retaliation for the United States and its allies' increased air strikes on Assad's forces.
An explosion rocked a government-held area of the northwestern Damascus suburb of Khan Sheikhoun, which was claimed by the army and its allied militias.
State television said the dead included members of the security forces and other people.
It said six people were still being treated at hospitals, but an initial assessment suggested they were all dead at the moment.
The agency said other bodies were still being retrieved from the scene and would be given to relatives when they arrived.
It also said Syrian government forces and Hezbollah militias, backed by ground troops from Lebanon and Turkey, had carried out the attack at the entrance to the area of the Damascus suburbs near the town of al-Waer.
"The attack has left two martyrs among the dead," the news agency said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that monitors events in the country, said four people were also killed in the blast in Khan Sheikhoun.
The United Nations has said at least 5,000 people have been killed in Syria since March, according to the United Nations. The Syrian government says it lost around 500 soldiers in fighting around al-Waer on Monday.
The United States said on Sunday it had launched a missile strike against weapons stored near Syria's border with Iran on Sunday in a suspected chemical weapons attack.
Iran has refused to comment on the attack, saying only that the US is not supporting Assad.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke by telephone with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday evening, warned that the US would take all measures necessary to defend itself and its allies against any further use of chemical weapons.
"As we go about a sustained but focused effort to degrade the ability of ISIL to use chemical weapons, we are committed to going further and further into Syria, not just in the sense of destroying those that have such capabilities, but also in the sense that there is no way to defend that and ensure it is a non-starter for them," he told NBC on Sunday evening.
He added that he would meet Iranian authorities Monday night, when the US has decided to extend the strikes to Syria as well.
At the US Congress's Foreign Affairs committee, the White House's national security adviser, Susan Rice, said the US would not make further announcements until they were satisfied that Iran had not used chemical weapons.
Syria's President Bashar Assad (L) meets with members of the Peopl
Black box opens un to new rwanda genocide probe
(04/06/08) A new investigation is looking into the possible human trafficking of Congolese children in Rwanda. UNRWA says it has seen a spike in reports of children fleeing to neighboring Uganda with their parents in recent months. UNRWA was alerted to the issue last month as Congolese villagers and aid workers reported seeing children leaving their villages with their parents for safety in Uganda. The agency is launching an investigation "with the aim of establishing who, where, how, and why these children have entered the country and what is the responsibility of those who exploit them," a UNRWA spokesman told The Daily Star newspaper in an email. (UNRWA Photo) UNRWA said it is investigating "unaccompanied children" who have crossed into the Democratic Republic of Congo from Rwanda with their parents or other relatives. (UNRWA Photo)
Migrant children, including girls from Burundi and Uganda, arrive in DRC for safety (06/02/07) One refugee child, the daughter of an Eritrean pastor who lives in Uganda, is among many who crossed into Rwanda from southern Congo earlier this year to escape the deadly violence sweeping the continent. (Photo by: Andrew McLeod, UNHCR)
Thousands of children and girls from war-torn East Africa, many having fled persecution and forced prostitution, have been forced to walk through the jungles of Rwanda, Zambia and Uganda to reach the camps. They are being shipped off to camps in Tanzania, where they are threatened with life imprisonment.
But there, some children have gone beyond the fear of the dangerous journey вЂ” they say they have found freedom.
Some say they have been able to get to Tanzania, Ghana and even Zambia where they were originally born and where they are allowed to visit families. Others say they have found a new home in the Rwandan city of Goma.
The plight of thousands of children from Congo, one of the world's poorest countries, has been given a new urgency by allegations from an independent aid group that some are being sold into slavery.
Migrant children from Burundi, a UN member state, walk across the road from the Congolese capital, Kigali. At least 3,000 children are believed to have crossed into Rwanda from eastern regions in the DRC to escape violence. (Photo by: Andrew McLeod, UNHCR)
The Associated Press reported on Sept. 15 that the International Rescue Committee, whose staff work on the ground in Uganda and neighbouring states, was working with the UNRWA on a comprehensive investigation into what it called one of the world's worst human trafficking rings.
UNRWA's own field assistance in the DRC says "up to 1