France beefs up embassy security in Damascus

12th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 12, 2006 (AFP) - France strengthened security at its embassy in Damascus after Tuesday's attack on the US embassy there, as other countries vowed to protect their missions in Syria and those of the US on their own soil.

PARIS, Sept 12, 2006 (AFP) - France strengthened security at its embassy in Damascus after Tuesday's attack on the US embassy there, as other countries vowed to protect their missions in Syria and those of the US on their own soil.

French foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei condemned the attack on the US embassy and announced "measures to strengthen security at our own embassy which is in the same area".

The US diplomatic mission in Damascus was targeted on Tuesday morning in a foiled attack that saw three assailants and one Syrian anti-terror officer killed.

The building neighbours numerous other embassies in the city's Abu Remmeneh district. A Chinese diplomat on the roof of his country's embassy was lightly injured in Tuesday's attack, the official New China news agency said.

Like the United States, France's relations with Syria are strained. Paris and Washington were co-authors of United Nations Resolution 1559 which obliged the Syrian military to withdraw from Lebanon.

Damascus's alleged involvement in the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafic Hariri in February 2005 is also a source of tension, as is its support for the Shiite Hezbollah militia.

Meanwhile a spokesman for the Dutch foreign ministry said everyone at its embassy in Damascus was staying inside as a precautionary measure.

And in Islamabad Pakistani officials announced increased security around US missions and other Western interests in the country following Tuesday's attack in the Syrian capital.

Pakistan had already beefed up security ahead of the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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