Syria crisis: Mortars hit Damascus stadium, soccer player dead



Zeenews Bureau

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