Bashar al-Assad makes first public appearance for six weeks
Source: The Guardian
Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, has attended Eid prayers in a mosque in Damascus, his first appearance in public after a bombing in the Syrian capital last month that killed the defence minister and three other top security officials.
Elsewhere across Syria on Sunday, thousands held anti-government protests in mosques and cemeteries to mark Eid al-Fitr, a holiday when pious Muslims traditionally visit graves and pray for the dead.
The three-day holiday marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which was particularly deadly in Syria as the 18-month-old uprising reached the country's two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo.
Amateur video posted by activists on the internet showed a large group of worshippers in a mosque at al-Zahera district in Damascus shouting: "There is no God but Allah and Assad is the enemy of God," while clapping their hands over their heads.
"May God protect the Free Syrian Army!" they also cried, referring to the main rebel group fighting to topple Assad.