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A UN investigation has established that President Bashar al-Assad's forces carried out at least two chemical attacks in Syria and that Islamic State jihadists used mustard gas as a weapon, according to a report seen by AFP on Wednesday. The panel was able to identify the perpetrators of three chemical attacks carried out in 2014 and 2015, but was unable to draw conclusions in the other six cases that it has been investigating over the past year. The report from the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) found that the Syrian regime dropped chemical weapons on two villages in northwestern Idlib province: Talmenes on April 21, 2014 and Sarmin on March 16, 2015.
Explosions and gunfire rang out as militants stormed the elite American University of Afghanistan in Kabul Wednesday, prompting desperate calls for help from students trapped inside classrooms, in the latest attack in the Afghan capital. At least one person was killed and 26 others were wounded in the assault, which comes just weeks after two university professors -- an American and an Australian -- were kidnapped at gunpoint near the school. Dozens of heavily-armed troops cordoned off the area after the attack started on Wednesday evening, when the private university is usually packed with students, many of them working professionals doing part-time courses.