Syria retracts weapons threat

Syria has said an earlier foreign ministry statement that it would use chemical weapons against foreign forces was "misconstrued and taken out of context". Britain had earlier said the threat from Damascus is "unacceptable"

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Ban Ki-Moon urges Security Council to take 'effective action' on Syria

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is "alarmed" by the bomb attack on the National Security Headquarters and the "continued use of heavy weapons" by the Syrian Army in Damascus, according to his spokesman.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/PA

He called on all sides to end violence and to begin political dialogue. He also called on the UN Security Council, which is due to vote on a Syrian resolution today, to act swiftly:

"The Secretary-General urges the Security Councilto shoulder its responsibility and take collective and effective action ... in view of the seriousness of the situationon the ground.

"Time is of the essence. The Syrian people have sufferedfor too long. The bloodshed must end now."

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