Berlin police say 20 people forced their way into Syria's embassy in the German capital and damaged offices there.

Police say the men _ all of them Syrian or of Syrian origin _ destroyed furniture in the building Friday afternoon and sprayed slogans on the facade.

They were briefly detained as they left the embassy.

Germany's Foreign Ministry condemned the incident and said in a statement that the German government takes its responsibility for the security of all diplomatic facilities in the country seriously. A ministry official spoke by phone with the Syrian ambassador and expressed regret.

Germany has repeatedly criticized Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime for its deadly crackdown on an 11-month-old uprising and has pressed for U.N. Security Council action.