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S. Korean embassy in China apparently hit by air gun round

All Headlines 11:22 December 14, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean Embassy in Beijing was apparently hit by an air gun shot earlier this week amid growing tensions over the killing of a South Korean Coast Guard officer by a Chinese fisherman, sources said Wednesday.

Chinese authorities launched an investigation soon after the incident took place on Tuesday afternoon, and discovered a metal ball that had apparently cracked a window in the building, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

The apparent attack caused no casualties.

The metal ball was likely fired from an air gun, as no one testified to hearing a gunshot, the sources said.

The incident came one day after a Chinese fisherman stabbed a South Korean Coast Guard officer to death during a crackdown on illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea. The killing sparked large-scale protests involving more than 300 people in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul on Tuesday.

It was the second time a South Korean Coast Guard officer was killed in violent clashes with Chinese fishermen, while many others have sustained injuries. Seoul has strongly protested the violence and demanded appropriate action from Beijing.

The South Korean embassy in Beijing would not comment on whether the apparent air gun pellet could have been fired by a Chinese national who had been provoked by the protests in Seoul.

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