PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — More than 100 people gathered at the Rhode Island State House to pray for the end to the unrest in Syria, and many expressed shock at an alleged chemical weapons attack there this week.

Most of the participants at the evening vigil Thursday were members of local Syrian and Muslim communities. The Providence Journal reports  that prayer blankets filled the State House lawn and people stood, bowed and fell to their knees in prayer.

Mufti Ikram Ul Haq is imam of the Masjid Al-Islam in North Smithfield. He urged President Barack Obama to take action to stop crimes and oppression in Syria.

Death tolls from Wednesday's alleged chemical attack range from 136 to 1,300. Rebels blame the Syrian military, but the government blames foreign fighters and their international backers.

Photo Credit SHUTTERSTOCK Dave Newman