A Chinese diplomat in Damascus was hit in the face by shrapnel during an attack on the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday, but was in stable condition, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

The diplomat was struck while standing on top of a garage at the Chinese Embassy, which is near the U.S. Embassy in the Syrian capital's diplomatic district, the Xinhua News Agency said.

He suffered slight injuries, Xinhua and the ministry said.

They identified the diplomat as Li Hongyu, a political counselor, and said he was sent to a hospital for treatment.

Gunmen apparently blew up a car outside the U.S. Embassy and exchanged fire with Syrian guards.