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Special Event

Millennium 2000: No Casualties at Russian Embassy in Beirut from Rocket Grenades, Declares Charge d'Affaires

Aired January 3, 2000 - 7:15 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Now back to our breaking story this morning of the four rocket grenades propelled near the Russian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.

We're joined now by Andrey Polyakov -- excuse me -- he is the Russian charge d'affaires at that Embassy.

Mr. Polyakov, can you tell us exactly what you have learned about these attacks by the rockets there?

ANDREY POLYAKOV, RUSSIAN CHARGE D'AFFAIRES: Good afternoon.

We now just learned -- we heard -- approximately at 11:30 a.m. this morning we heard three or four explosions, presumably of rocket- propelled grenades. And they were followed by heavy shooting. It seemed that everything was going on on the streets surrounding the Embassy compound.

HARRIS: So Mr. Polyakov, you...

POLYAKOV: Just a...

HARRIS: I'm sorry.

POLYAKOV: ... half an hour ago we succeeded in examining the territory of the Russian Embassy, and we saw two or three holes on the territory, presumably, of these rocket-propelled grenades. Now it is rather calm around them.

HARRIS: So you're saying that the embassy itself has sustained damage in this rocket attack? There are holes in the embassy building itself?

POLYAKOV: Not building, just the surrounding territory. There are no casualties, and there are no casualties in the embassy.

HARRIS: Is it clear, from what you've been able to observe, whether or not the embassy itself was the target of these rocket attacks, or if it was anyplace else around the embassy?

POLYAKOV: We're analyzing the situation.

HARRIS: Were there any other casualties sustained inside the embassy compound?

POLYAKOV: No. No sir, no casualties inside the embassy, not inside.

HARRIS: And you said, again, the situation there is calm now, the police are not firing...

POLYAKOV: Yes, now it is calm, the streets are full of soldiers -- and now it is rather calm.

HARRIS: Mr. Andre Polyakov, Russian charge d'affaires of the Russian Embassy in Beirut, thank you very much.

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