Al-Assad visits Syria’s Aleppo hospital in first reported trip to earthquake-hit area

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made his first visit Friday to a region stricken by an earthquake that has killed thousands in his country, his office said.

The president and his wife Asma visited survivors at their bedsides at a hospital in the northern city of Aleppo, images published by Syrian official media showed.

Assad also visited areas of the city damaged by Monday’s 7.8 magnitude quake, whose epicenter was across the border in Turkey, according to images released by the presidency.

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More than 22,000 people have died across Turkey and Syria as a result of the quake, one of the worst disasters to hit the region in around a century.

Over 3,300 of them have been killed in Syria, according to health ministry figures and a rescue group.

Aleppo province has so far counted 415 deaths and 1,050 injured, according to the health ministry.

Al-Assad this week had been seen presiding over a government meeting and receiving an official Lebanese delegation, but had yet to visit a quake-hit area.

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