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Syria rebel commander Riad al-Asaad injured in blast

  • Col Riad al-Asaad, the man who set up and once led the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), has been badly injured in a blast in Deir al-Zour province.

    According to the FSA, he had to have his right leg amputated following the explosion in the town of Mayadeen on Sunday.

    Conflicting reports have emerged over Sunday night’s incident with some stating a bomb exploded near his car while others claim a rocket hit it.

    Col Asaad had been touring Mayadeen, which is largely controlled by rebels, according to an FSA spokesman.

    He was later evacuated to a hospital in Turkey for treatment. His condition is now stable, the FSA spokesman added.

    Col Asaad, a former air force engineer, was one of the first senior Syrian military officers to defect in July 2011. The following month, he played a key role in establishing the FSA in Turkey.

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