MOSCOW: A Russian army medic was killed Monday (Dec 5) and two others seriously injured in rebel shelling of a field hospital in Syria's Aleppo, Russia's defence ministry said, blaming Western nations who support rebel fighters.
"As a result of a shell directly hitting the reception area of the hospital, one Russian female military medic was killed," Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
"Two medical workers were heavily wounded. Local residents who had come to visit the doctors were also injured."
A photographer who supplies AFP with photos described seeing burned tents and charred boxes of medical supplies at the scene.
Konashenkov said the attack had "undoubtedly been carried out by 'opposition' fighters" and laid the blame at the door of Western nations - including the US, Britain and France - that have backed those fighting its ally, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
"We understand who gave the fighters the exact information and coordinates of the reception area of the Russian hospital as it was starting its work," Konashenkov added.
"Our servicemen's blood is on the hands of those who ordered this murder."
Syrian rebels are battling forces loyal to Assad after sweeping advances saw the government seize back large chunks of territory in eastern Aleppo.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last week that President Vladimir Putin had ordered that field hospitals be sent to war-ravaged Aleppo.
Russia has been flying air raids in Syria since September 2015, intervening at the request of Assad, Moscow's longtime ally.
Russia says it has halted air strikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo since Oct 18 following international condemnation over its ferocious bombardment of the city.
The deadly war in Syria has killed more than 300,000 people since it started in March 2011 with a wave of anti-government protests.