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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia denied a report in daily newspaper Kommersant that seven Russian planes had been destroyed by rebel shelling at Syria's Hmeymim air base on Dec. 31, the TASS news agency on Thursday quoted the defence ministry as saying.

The ministry also said two Russian service personnel were killed in a mortar attack on the base by rebels, according to TASS.

(writing by Denis Pinchuk; editing by John Stonestreet)

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