Tuesday, July 17, 2012 -
The Syrian consulate in Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty was gutted early Tuesday morning in what Kazakh authorities suspect was an arson attack.
The fire destroyed the third floor of the building, which holds the entire archives belonging to the consul’s office, as well as the second floor.
The independent television station Kazakh KTK reported that the arsonists intentionally targeted the third floor.
A meeting hall and guests rooms were also damaged.
The blaze is thought to have started by petrol bombs thrown at the buildings.
Supporters of “radical religious groups” and individuals who could possibly “resort to anything” were likely behind the attack, Syrian consul-general Samir Derekh was cited as telling independent TV station Kazakh KTK.
The staff said no valuables had been taken.
Local authorities have not issued any comments.
But police said they are treating the incident as a suspected “premeditated arson attack,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.
The destruction of Syria’s only diplomatic mission in Central Asia’s largest country comes amid bloody chaos in Syria that is pitting government troops against opposition supporters in a conflict that is leading toward civil war.