Shaykh Usama al-Rifa`i in the Hospital

The latest demonstrations in Damascus were triggered in part by an attack Saturday by Assad’s forces on a popular cleric, Osama al-Rifai. He was treated with several stitches to his head after they stormed al-Rifai mosque complex in the Kfar Sousa district of the capital, home to the secret police headquarters, to prevent a protest from coming out of the mosque.

Also on Sunday, security forces have banned prayers in al-Rifai mosque in Damascus, Al-Arabiya broadcaster reported.

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