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Russia Summons Belgian Envoy Over Syria Air Strike Claim

Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (file photo)

Russia has summoned the Belgian ambassador to Moscow in a dispute over the Kremlin's claim that Belgian warplanes killed Syrian villagers.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Belgian envoy, Alex Van Meeuwen, had gone to the ministry on October 21 in response to a summons.

The Russian Defense Ministry says radar evidence shows that two Belgian F-16 fighter jets struck the Kurdish village of Hassajek near Syria's border with Turkey on October 18, killing six civilians and wounding four.

But the Belgian Defense Ministry has dismissed the evidence Russia offered as "totally groundless and unsubstantiated" and demands a "formal retraction" of the claim.

Belgium has summoned the Russian ambassador to Brussels over the incident.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS