Egypt seeks to tap new markets at Damascus fair

Hezbollah fighters giving a guided tour near the Lebanese Syrian border

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the attack.

A rocket has struck close to the entrance of a trade fair in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Syrian media say.

Several people have reportedly been injured by rocket fire that targeted the entrance to the Damascus International Fair venue, where a high-profile business gathering is now underway.

The state-run news agency said the shelling inflicted casualties but gave no further details.

The Fair, the most important event in economic of Syria before the war and one of the oldest in the arab world, has reopened its doors Thursday.

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.

Earlier, the director general of the fair said that 43 states, including Russian Federation, are taking part in the fair this year.

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While Damascus has been insulated from much of the worst violence of the country's war, several key rebel enclaves remain in the Eastern Ghouta region outside the city.

The trade fair dates back to 1954 but was last held in the summer of 2011, months after the eruption of protests against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The authorities had chose to reopen the Fair who considers that the calm had returned in the area where is held the exhibition, the Ghouta east since July, one of the "areas of de-escalation" designated following an agreement of truce between the sponsors of the regime and the insurgents.

The government has sought to present the country as slowly returning to normalcy after six years of war.

In the early years of the conflict, many Western and Arab countries called on Mr Assad to step down, and both the U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions on his government. He made more than 330 000 people dead and millions displaced.

Assad said there will be no restoration of diplomatic ties or other forms of cooperation with countries that support "terrorists" in Syria.

Meanwhile the Observatory on Sunday said that at least 18 civilians were killed the previous day in air strikes by the US-led coalition on a jihadist-held village in northeast Syria.

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