November 11, 2013

A mortar round hit the apostolic nunciature in the Syrian capital, causing limited damage to the building and no causalities because of the early hour of the strike, said the Vatican ambassador to Syria.

Archbishop Mario Zenari, the Vatican nuncio, told Vatican Radio Nov. 5 that if the rocket had been launched a half-hour later, he would have been saying morning prayers on the terrace near where the mortar struck.

He was just getting out of bed at 6:35 a.m. "when I heard a big bang and I immediately threw myself onto the floor, trying to stay away from the windows because we've already had the experience that sometimes it's not just one mortar, but two or three" that land.

The single strike Nov. 5 destroyed part of the roof, including the eaves of the building and part of the facade, Zenari said.