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Mortar round hits Russia embassy compound in Damascus

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A mortar round hit the compound of the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus on Sunday, a source at the embassy and an NGO said.

The source, speaking to Syrian state news agency SANA, confirmed that "a mortar round fell inside the embassy compound without injuring anyone."

"The embassy is functioning as normal," the source added.

The attack was also reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said it was the first time the compound had been hit.

It confirmed that there were no injuries in the attack, which struck inside the compound but did not appear to hit the embassy's main building.

Rebel forces arrayed in parts of the outskirts of the capital regularly fire rockets and mortar rounds into Damascus, including the area around the embassy in the centre of the city.

Russia is a staunch ally of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing him with diplomatic backing as well as weapons.

It was a key force behind a deal under which Damascus will hand over its chemical weapons stocks for destruction, which headed off a US plan to take military action against the regime.

kam/sah/hkb

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130922/mortar-round-hits-russia-embassy-compound-damascus-1