Syrian President Bashar Assad has made a rare public appearance by attending prayers at a mosque in the capital, Damascus, marking the beginning of an important Muslim holiday.

Syrian state television aired footage of Assad praying Saturday at the al-Numan Bin Bashir mosque along with government officials and the country's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun.

Most Muslim around the world on Saturday began marking the three-day holiday of Eid al-Adha, or feast of sacrifice.

Assad has been making rare public appearances amid the country's civil war, which activists say has killed more than 190,000 people. His last appearance was in July, when he attended prayers for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of fasting during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.