Damascus: Mortar explosion in the vicinity of a football stadium in Damascus claimed the life of a soccer player and injuring several others on Wednesday.
Yesterday a couple of mortars exploded near Syrian President Bashar Assad’s palace but there was no human damage.
But it was the first confirmed strike close to a presidential palace and another sign that the civil war is moving closer to the heart of Assad`s seat of power.
SANA news agency said the mortars landed Wednesday in a complex housing the Tishrin Stadium and a hotel next to it in the central Baramkeh district. Some players were practicing in the stadium at the time.
It said the player killed was from the Homs-based al-Wathbah club. He was wounded inside the hotel as some players were getting ready to go out and join the practice and died later at the hospital.
The Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported one player was killed.
Players from al-Wathbah team who witnessed the attack identified the dead teammate as 19-year-old Youssef Suleiman, the team`s striker. They said he was the father of a 6-month-old baby.
They said the mortars landed in front of Tishrin hotel next to the stadium where players normally stayed, and shattered some of the building`s windows.
The attack hit a few hours before the team was to play against the Hama-based al-Mawaair club as part of the domestic league.
With Agency Inputs