Syria UN Abducted
The Syrian Foreign Ministry said six members of a UN fact-finding mission have been abductedReuters

A team of UN chemical weapons inspectors was attacked in Syria, sparking claims some members had been abducted by rebel groups.

The UN's Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said a convoy carrying inspectors and other UN staff came under attack as it was travelling towards the central city of Hama.

However the OPCW added that "all team members are safe and well and are travelling back to the operating base."

Earlier, Syria's Foreign Ministry claimed that 11 team members had been abducted by rebel groups.

"Eleven people -- five Syrian drivers and six other members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons team who were on board two vehicles -- have been kidnapped," the ministry said in a statement run by the official Sana news agency.

The ministry blamed rebels fighting against the regime of president Bashar al-Assad, saying they committed "terrorist crimes" against the UN organisation and its staff.

The UN team was investigating claims that the industrial chemical chlorine was used in an attack on a rebel-held village in the Hama province last month.

The UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons monitors the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is designed to oversee the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

The OPCW director-general, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, urged rebels and the government to cooperate to allow the inspectors to carry out their fact-finding mission safely.

"Our inspectors are in Syria to establish the facts in relation to persistent allegations of chlorine gas attacks," Üzümcü said.

"Their safety is our primary concern, and it is imperative that all parties to the conflict grant them safe and secure access."