Damascus (AsiaNews) - A mortar round
hit the Vatican Nunciature building this morning in
Damascus. The bomb was aimed at
the third floor, where the
sleeping quarters of the Nuncio Mgr Mario Zenari, his secretary Fr Giorgio, and the sisters working at the residence are located.
"Thank God no one was hit," Fr Giorgio told AsiaNews. The mortar
round destroyed part of the roof,
including the eaves of the building and part of the facade.
Archbishop Zenari is one of the few diplomats who never left
his post in the past two years of
civil war. He continues, along with the pope, to push the international
community for a peace conference on
any veto on participants.
The Syrian government and opponents disagree on the ground rules for the
conference set for late November.
Rebels will participate only if Bashar Assad leaves power and threaten
anyone who dares to take part. The
Syrian regime said that it would not participate with such a pre-condition.
UN and Arab League envoy Lahdar Brahimi, who is tasked with preparing the
peace conference, met with US and Russian representatives in Geneva in order to
lay the grounds for the event.
The Nunciature has not said anything as to who might be behind the attack. The
fact that it was a single salvo leads to believe that the building was
After the explosion, firefighters, emergency crews and police came to the Vatican
legation building. The Syrian
President sent a message of solidarity.
Despite the attack, the Nunciature is not planning to close or move its staff.
legations are never closed," Fr Giorgio said. "We shall only take a few