Assad appears unharmed in footage after reported attack

Thursday 08 August 2013 14.17
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Rebels said they had fired rockets that hit Bashar al-Assad's motorcade
Rebels said they had fired rockets that hit Bashar al-Assad's motorcade
Mr Assad appeared unharmed in footage broadcast on Syrian television
Mr Assad appeared unharmed in footage broadcast on Syrian television

Syrian state television has broadcast footage of President Bashar al-Assad attending prayers in Damascus after opposition reports of an attack on his motorcade.

Mr Assad appeared unharmed in the footage as he attended prayers in a mosque to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

The rebel Liwa al-Islam Brigade had earlier told Reuters that rebels fired rockets that hit Mr Assad's motorcade in the Malki district, where his residence is located.

Other activists also reported rockets were fired into the Malki area.

If confirmed, the attack would be one of the most direct against Mr Assad in two years of conflict.

Rebels have targeted Mr Assad's residences in Damascus and a bombing in the capital last year killed four of his inner circle, but there have been no reports of Mr Assad himself coming under fire.

Syria's government denied the reports.

"The news is wholly untrue," Information Minister Omran Zoabi said.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since Syria’s civil war erupted, pitting Mr Assad’s forces against rebels seeking to end his family’s four-decade rule.

Yesterday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 62 rebel fighters were killed in a Syrian army ambush near the town of Adra, east of Damascus.