Syria's Assad prays at Damascus mosque for Eid al-Adha
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
A picture uploaded on the official page of the Syrian Presidency on the internet social network site, Facebook, on October 15, 2013 shows President Bashar al-Assad (4L) and Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmed Hassun (5L) praying at the Sayeda Hassiba mosque in the capital Damascus as Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha or "Feast of the Sacrifice" as the war in Syria continues for its third consecutive year. AFP photoSyrian President Bashar al-Assad prayed at a Damascus mosque early on Tuesday morning as Muslims marked the Eid al-Adha holiday, state media said.
State television broadcast images of the president entering the Hassiba mosque and waving to supporters before taking part in prayers.
The prayers were led by Imam Mohamed Tawfik al-Bouti, the son of Mohamed al-Bouti, a senior pro-regime religious figure who was killed in a bombing at a mosque in March.
Assad, who has rarely been seen in public since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, attended prayers at a Damascus mosque on August 8, for the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
At the time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported shelling in the area where the president had gone to pray, with activists saying opposition fighters had "targeted" his convoy.
Syria fighting rages
Meanwhile, an activist group says Syrian warplanes have been bombing the suburbs of Damascus while rebels have fired mortar shells at the capital on the first day of a major Muslim holiday, The Associated Press has reported.
Tuesday's fighting shows how entrenched both sides in Syria's civil war have become. Earlier in the fighting, the sides occasionally attempted to observe holiday cease-fires.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels fired rockets and mortar rounds at three Damascus neighborhoods. An amateur video posted online shows three rockets being fired, leaving a trail of dark smoke.
The Observatory says the regime bombed rebel areas near the city of Hama, killing three children, and Damascus' Eastern Ghouta district.
More than 115,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011, according to the Britain-based monitoring group.