Russian embassy in Minsk attacked

MOSCOW, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Russian embassy in Belarus was attacked by unknown assailants with fire bombs late on Monday, Russian news agencies reported Tuesday.

The attack has irritated Russia which demanded a thorough probe into the incident.

"At around 10:50 p.m. local time (1950 GMT), two fire bombs were thrown onto the territory of the Russian Embassy," said a local emergencies spokesman as quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.

Neither casualties nor fire were reported, he said, but one car parked nearby was hit by one of the fire bombs.

The assailants were currently being identified.

Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday released a statement, demanding those behind the "outrageous" incident be found and brought to justice.

"Certain forces' intentions to obstruct the normal functioning of the embassy and to add elements of mistrust and tension to bilateral relations can clearly be seen behind it," said the ministry as quoted by the Interfax news agency.

The Russian embassy in Minsk has requested assistance from the Belarussian authorities in investigation into the incident.

Andrei Savinykh, spokesman for the Belarussian Foreign Ministry, said in a statement that the incident as an act of hooliganism aimed to strain Minsk-Moscow ties.

Relations between Moscow and Minsk, two traditional allies, have been sour over a string of incidents ranging from gas and oil disputes, the Customs Union bloc formed between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, to the recognition of independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

According to Russian media, this was not the first time for Russian diplomatic mission in Belarus to be under attack. Several years ago, some grenades were thrown into the embassy.


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