Syria Rejects Rebel Claims On Assad Convoy Attack

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Bashar al-Assad during Eid prayers
Bashar al-Assad during Eid prayers

Syrian rebels say they have targeted President Bashar al-Assad’s motorcade near his home in Damascus, but state television has shown him unharmed and the government denies there was an attack.

A spokesman for the rebel group Liwa al-Islam, one of two that said they had carried out attacks in Assad’s neighbourhood on Thursday, told Al Jazeera they were sure they had hit the convoy with rockets.

“We have monitors in the area who confirm that the attack hit some of the president’s guards,” he said. “It also hit checkpoints in the area. It was at 7:20 in the morning.”

The spokesman said Liwa al-Islam had no information on whether Assad was in the motorcade but the group said that its sources in the Syrian government said that several people had been killed in the attack.

Omran Zoabi, the Syrian information minister, however rejected the claims.

The footage shown on state television was described as being of Assad leading prayers at the Anas bin Malek Mosque the same morning.

Assad stood alongside ministers and appeared unharmed, smiling at worshippers as he entered the mosque.

“The news is wholly untrue,” Zoabi said.

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