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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
'Fourth US embassy attacker' dies
Syrian guard outside US embassy in Damascus
Washington thanked Syria for safeguarding personnel
The only surviving suspect in Tuesday's attack on the US embassy in Damascus has died of his injuries, Syrian authorities have said.

Investigators were not able to question him, media reports said.

Three other attackers were killed at the scene when they tried to drive two cars at the compound.

No-one has said they carried out the attack but Syria's ambassador in the US said it was possibly the work of Islamist group Soldiers of Damascus.

Attackers 'all Syrian'

The US had thanked Syria, which it lists as a sponsor of terrorism, for its actions, saying it was grateful that the embassy staff's safety had been ensured.

The BBC's correspondent in the region, Jon Leyne, says Syria has used the incident to argue that it is the victim of terrorism.

AREA OF EMBASSY ATTACK
Syria map

An editorial in a government-owned paper said Syria's success in confronting terrorism showed that the world could prevail over terrorism if there was a sincere will.

Our correspondent says it is a lecture unlikely to go down well in US government circles.

Syrian media said all the four attackers were Syrians.

Syria's ambassador to the US, Imad Moustapha, said it was logical that the Soldiers of Damascus were behind the attack as the group had already been involved in several previous confrontations with the Syrian government.

Witnesses on Tuesday said that after an initial exchange of fire, two of the attackers had sought refuge in a nearby building but were pursued and gunned down by security forces.

Grenades were reportedly thrown at the embassy's wall.

The fourth attacker was shot and injured as he fled an explosives-laden truck that failed to detonate.

Tension has been high between Washington and Damascus, with bitterness in Syria over US support for Israeli military action in Lebanon.

The US accuses Syria of supporting the insurgency in Iraq and not doing enough to prevent weapons going to Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.


SEE ALSO
US thanks Syria over embassy raid
15 Sep 06 |  Middle East
Syrian security put to the test
12 Sep 06 |  Middle East
Testing times for US-Syria relations
12 Sep 06 |  Middle East
In pictures: Syrian embassy clash
12 Sep 06 |  In Pictures
Country profile: Syria
30 Aug 06 |  Country profiles

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