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28 Nov, 2013 15:50

UN Security Council condemns attack on Russian embassy in Damascus as ‘terrorist act’

The UNSC has strongly condemned an attack on Russia’s Damascus embassy, describing it an “act of terrorism.” A mortar shell hit Russia’s diplomatic mission compound on Thursday while another landed nearby, killing one local person and injuring nine.

A top UN body issued a statement, expressing condolences to the family of the victim and sympathy to all those injured in this “heinous terrorist act.”

The attack occurred at about 1300 GMT.

“One mine exploded on the territory of the diplomatic mission, another exploded near the fence outside the embassy," Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, commenting on the incident.

The diplomatic mission compound has sustained minor damage and no Russians have been injured in the attack, the Foreign Ministry confirmed.

However, nine Syrians including embassy security guards, have been wounded and one man was killed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that “mortar attacks by militants” in the central part of Damascus, including attacks on the territory of Russia’s Embassy, have become more frequent recently.

“[We] treat them as acts of terrorism, the perpetrators and those who encourage and direct them must be punished,” the FM’s press-office said in the statement.

The United States has also condemned the attack in Damascus and expressed “concern for those killed and injured in the incident.” 

We condemn any attack against individuals or facilities protected by international law. The United States continues to emphasize that those responsible for atrocities on all sides must be held accountable,” the US State Department said in a statement Thursday.

In the recent months of the ongoing civil war in Syria, rebels have launched a number of mortar shells into the upscale Mazraa district of Damascus, which houses many embassies and senior Syrian officials.  

Earlier in September, a mortar shell hit the Russian embassy compound, injuring three people.

During the nearly three-year military conflict in Syria, the Russian embassy sustained its worst damaged in February 2013, when a car bomb exploded nearby, killing 50 people on the Damascus highway. Back then no one was injured at the embassy, but the blast blew out windows in the building.