Six people were reported dead on Sunday when a rocket hit near an international trade fair in Syria’s capital Damascus being held for the first time in five years.
The Damascus International Fair was once the leading event on Syria’s economic calendar but had not been held since shortly after the outbreak of the country’s war in March 2011.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said six people, including two women, were killed and around a dozen wounded in the rocket fire near the entrance to the fair.
A rescuer speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity confirmed the toll.
A source at a hospital in Jaramana, an area southwest of the capital, told AFP he had seen dead and injured being evacuated from the scene.
There was no confirmation of the toll from officials.
However, state television briefly carried a breaking news alert reporting the rocket fire and saying it had caused injuries, citing its reporters at the scene.
The alert was removed shortly afterwards, and a reporter broadcasting live from the fair interviewed several officials who made no mention of the rocket fire or casualties.
“We were preparing to receive visitors when I heard an explosion… then I saw smoke to the side of the entrance to the exhibition hall,” 39-year-old Iyad al-Jabiri, a Syrian working at a textile stand at the fair, told AFP.