Mortar hits Vatican Embassy in Syrian capital Damascus

A mortar round damaged the Vatican
Embassy in Damascus early Tuesday,
officials said.
Speaking from the Syrian capital,
Archbishop Mario Zenari told NBC
News that there were no injuries as
most of the personnel had not arrived
for work when the blast occurred at
around 6:30 a.m. local time (11:30
p.m. ET).
"It was very strong and noisy. We
stayed inside and we were very afraid,"
Monsignor Giorgio Chazza told
He added that buildings in the wealthy
Maliki area, where there are several
embassies as well as the residences of
government, had been hit eight to 10
times by mortar bombs since July.
"If the attack had happened later it
would have been a lot worse," Father
Ciro Benedettini said from the Vatican
City. He also said the mortar hit a part
of the embassy that was not being
An official at the embassy told Reuters
that the roof was damaged and there
was broken glass inside.
It was not clear if the embassy was
deliberately targeted.