Norway closes embassy in Syria

Norway said on Monday it was closing its embassy in Damascus for security reasons, following other countries that have done the same for safety concerns or to protest against the regime's crackdown.

Several European Union countries, as well as the United States, Turkey and six Gulf state monarchies have already shut their missions.

A Norwegian diplomat will remain in Damascus, working from the Danish embassy to handle Norway's affairs, the foreign ministry said.

At the beginning of February, Oslo announced it was reducing its diplomatic staff in the Syrian capital amid the spreading violence.

A brutal crackdown on protests in Syria has left at least 9,100 people dead since March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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