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NGO: Rebel chief wounded near Damascus

May 9, 2013 9:03 A.M. (Updated: May 10, 2013 10:29 A.M.)
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AFP) -- The leader of the powerful jihadist rebel force, Al-Nusra Front, was wounded by army bombing near the Syrian capital on Wednesday, a watchdog said.

Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani was wounded with other members of his group in southern Damascus province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, citing militants in the area.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman was only immediately able to say that Jawlani had been hit in the foot.

Al-Nusra, which seeks to establish an Islamic state in Syria and has been termed a "terrorist organization" by Washington, is among the most prominent organizations involved in the country's conflict.

It has gained notoriety for suicide bombings but also won admiration from other insurgents for its reputation as a formidable fighting force leading attacks on battle fronts across Syria.

Last month, Jawlani pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
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