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Syria presidential vote on June 3: parliament speaker

Published on Apr 21, 2014 6:21 PM

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syria will hold presidential elections that are expected to return President Bashar al-Assad to office on June 3, the country's parliamentary speaker said Monday.

As lawmakers met to hear the election date announced, mortar fire hit near the parliament building, killing at least two people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The deaths underlined the fact that Syria's first presidential election - after constitutional amendments did away with the old referendum system - will be held amid a devastating civil war.

The Observatory, a Britain-based monitoring group relying on sources inside Syria, says more than 150,000 people have been killed since March 2011, and rebels hold vast swathes of territory.

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