Middle East News Thread

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Assad Shown at Ceremony for Prophet Birthday

Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad was Thursday shown on state television attending prayers at a mosque in a northern district of Damascus to mark the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.

The leader was shown in a live broadcast kneeling in al-Afram mosque flanked by Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun, the highest Sunni religious authority in the country, and the religious endowments minister.

The minister, Mohammed Abdel Settar, earlier called for “million man prayers” at mosques on Friday to appeal for the re-establishment of security in the country, rocked by a deadly anti-regime uprising since March 2011.

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