Syria: Mortar shells kill 1 near Russian Embassy

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This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels preparing to fire locally made rockets, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Tuesday, June 4, 2013. The Syrian government has denied it is facing a popular uprising since the revolt against Assad's rule erupted in March 2011, saying that the army is fighting foreign-backed terrorists who want to destroy the country.(AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian government official and local residents say mortar shells have landed near the Russian Embassy in Damascus, killing one person.

The official says four shells hit the capital's Mazraa neighborhood on Tuesday. He says one person was killed and an unknown number of people were wounded in the attack. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Residents in the area said the mortars shells landed about 150 meters (feet) from the building that houses the Russian Embassy in Damascus.

Russia is close ally of President Bashar Assad's regime, which has been fighting insurgents since an uprising against his rule turned into a civil war two years ago.

The Syrian opposition is backed by the United States and its European allies.