Syria: residence of papal nuncio hit by mortar fire
November 05, 2013
The residence of the apostolic nuncio in Damascus, Syria, was hit with mortar fire on Tuesday morning, November 5. There were no casualties.
A single explosive shell hit the 3rd floor of the nunciature, where the papal representative, Archbishop Mario Zenari, has his quarters. Apparently the residents had already risen, and employees had not yet arrived for work at the offices of the nunciature. Consequently no one was injured.
Archbishop Zenari downplayed the effect of the explosion, observing that “people suffer more every day.” He reminded a Vatican Radio office that mortar rounds have hit nearby buildings on several recent occasions. But an AsiaNews report suggested that the nunciature had been targeted intentionally.
Archbishop Zenari has been working to set up a peace conference that would include all parties involved in the current fighting in Syria. Rebel leaders have refused to participate in any talks until President Bashar Assad steps down; the ruling government has rejected that demand.
The explosion damaged the roof and façade of the building, but caused no structural damage. The nuncio’s office were open for business on Tuesday, and a spokesman said that although the staff would take some extra precautions, the nunciature would remain open—long after many other diplomats have left Syria.
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