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Middle east

Syrian rebels claim attack on Assad’s motorcade

© DigitalGlobe/Atrium/Amnesty International

Video by Stephen Carroll

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-08

Syrian rebels said they targeted President Bashar al-Assad’s motorcade on Thursday as he was en route to a Damascus mosque to mark the end of Ramadan, but state television showed images of him praying unharmed.

Syrian rebels claimed Thursday to have attacked the motorcade that was taking President Bashar al-Assad to a Damascus mosque where he was marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

“After conducting reconnaissance (on) the timing and course of Bashar al-Assad’s motorcade the area was hit with artillery. We pray to God and await the field report about the results,” the Tahrir al-Sham rebel brigade said in a statement.

Another brigade also claimed that rebels had fired at Assad’s convoy.

“Assad was not hit, but the information we have based from sources within the regime is that there were casualties within his entourage,” a rebel source was quoted by Reuters.

Other activists also reported rockets were fired into the Malki area, where the Anas bin Malek Mosque Assad was allegedly attending is located.

However, Damascus denied that the convoy was hit by rebel fire. “The news is wholly untrue,” information minister Omran Zoabi told Syrian state television.

Earlier, state TV broadcast what it described as footage of Assad praying unharmed at the mosque. Dressed in a suit, the embattled president was seen praying alongside Syria's grand mufti, the highest official of Muslim law in the country.

The broadcast was the Syrian leader’s third public appearance in less than two weeks, as his regime tries to capitalise on recent gains on the battlefield.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-08-08

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