Germany closes Russian embassy over fire smog: ministry

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Germany has closed its embassy in Moscow until further notice because of noxious smog from spreading wildfires choking the Russian capital, a foreign ministry spokesman said Friday.

"A duty officer will remain on the job," the spokesman added, asking not to be named.

The German foreign ministry's website advises against all but non-essential journeys to affected regions in Russia, especially for those with respiratory problems and for children.

Fires ravaging western Russia have already killed 52 people, while Moscow residents have been wheezing in the thickest smog to hit the capital since Russia's worst heatwave in decades broke out in July.

© 2010 AFP

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