(MENAFN - Arab News) Damascus: the head of an international mission to syria charged with destroying the country's chemical weapons called on president bashar assad's government sunday to ensure it meets a deadline to destroy all its toxic chemicals amid a raging civil war.
also sunday four more candidates announced their candidacy for syria's upcoming june presidential election state tv announced a poll assad is expected to win.
meanwhile clashes raging through the northern city of aleppo killed and wounded at least 70 people activists reported.
sigrid kaag of the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons told reporters in damascus that 92.5 percent of syria's chemical materials had been removed from the country and destroyed. she called it 'significant progress" although she called on syria's government to ensure remaining materials would be eradicated by the end of april.
'i strongly encourage (the syrian government) to go for that last push that we can really talk of hundred percent removal and destruction" kaag said.
syria missed an april 13 deadline to destroy all its chemical weapons in accessible locations. international experts say that could impact on reaching a june 30 deadline to remove all syria's chemical weapons.
meanwhile sawsan omar haddad a 51-year-old engineer from the coastal province of latakia became the first woman to register as a candidate in syria's upcoming june 3 presidential election.
in a state television broadcast sunday parliament speaker jihad laham said haddad had registered her candidacy a day earlier.
another three candidates also registered sunday bringing the total number of contenders to six.
the other three who registered sunday were samir ahmed moalla a 43-year professor of international law from the southern province of quinetra; mohammad firas rajjouh 48 from damascus; and abdul-salam salameh 43 from the central province of homs. analysts said they expected at least one candidate to run against assad to give the election a veneer of legitimacy. also sunday rebels blew up the city's industrial chamber in a blast that rocked the northern city of aleppo said state-run television and activists.