A Syrian government official and local residents say mortar shells have landed near the Russian Embassy in Damascus, killing one person.

The official says four shells hit the capital's Mazraa neighborhood on Tuesday. He says one person was killed and an unknown number of people were wounded in the attack. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Residents in the area said the mortars shells landed about 150 meters (feet) from the building that houses the Russian Embassy in Damascus.

Russia is close ally of President Bashar Assad's regime, which has been fighting insurgents since an uprising against his rule turned into a civil war two years ago.

The Syrian opposition is backed by the United States and its European allies.