BREAKING: At least 1,300 killed in 'gas attack' near Damascus, Syria... (WARNING: Video Contains Graphic Images)
(SKY NEWS) -- More than 1,300 people have been killed in a chemical weapons attack near Damascus, according to Syria's main opposition group.
The National Coalition claims toxic gas was used by President Bashar al Assad's forces during a bombardment of rebel-held areas outside the Syrian capital.
It described the attack as a "coup de grace that kills all hopes for a political solution in Syria".
The government says the claims are "totally false" and the international news organisations reporting them are "implicated in the shedding of Syrian blood and support terrorism".
The European Union has demanded an independent investigation into the alleged gas attack.
Earlier, Sky sources said at least 200 people were killed in the shelling in Zamalka and Ein Tarma, but could not verify whether chemical weapons were used.
It comes three days after a 20-strong team of UN weapons inspectors arrived in Damascus to investigate whether chemical weapons have been used in the conflict.
Mohammed Saeed, an activist in the area, said hundreds of dead and injured have been taken to six make-shift hospitals in the eastern suburbs of Damascus.
"This is a massacre by chemical weapons," he said via Skype. "The visit by the UN team is a joke...Bashar is using the weapons and telling the world that he does not care." Read more via Sky News...