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FILE PHOTO: Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with AFP news agency in Damascus, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on April 13, 2017. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was quoted on Friday as saying that the group formerly known as the Nusra Front carried out the bombing of a convoy of evacuees from two Shi'ite villages on Saturday that killed 126.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing. Assad's comments were quoted by the Lebanese pro-Syrian government al-Mayadeen television channel.

The Nusra Front was al Qaeda's formal affiliate in Syria until it broke off its allegiance to the global militant movement last year. It joined some other jihadist groups in a new alliance called Tahrir al-Sham in January.

(This story has been corrected to change description of al-Mayadeen TV channel)

(Reporting By Ellen Francis and Angus McDowall; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Reuters