Snipers attacked one of the vehicles belonging to the U.N. mission investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, the United Nations said Monday.

"The lead vehicle of the chemical weapons investigation team was shot multiple times, deliberately, by unidentified snipers," the international organization said in a statement released in Seoul, where U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is on an official visit.

The shots disabled the vehicle and forced "the team to return to a government checkpoint," a U.N. spokesman said.

The team was inspecting an area outside Damascus where the opposition alleges the Assad regime staged a chemical attack that killed more than 1,000 people on Wednesday.

"The team will return to the area as soon as the vehicle is replaced," the U.N. said.

Syrian President Bashar Assad said the allegations of chemical weapons use were an "insult to common sense."

More than 70,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against the Assad regime started in March 2011. EFE