Russia minister denies sending 'Assad is dead' hoax tweet

Russia's interior ministry on Monday denied ever issuing a statement saying it had confirmation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been killed together with his wife.

The statement follows the rapid spread of a Twitter message attributed to Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev saying Assad and his wife had been fatally attacked in the Alawite statelet of Latakia in Syria's western mountains.

The ministry said that Kolokoltsev is an active Internet user but "does not have a single account on any of the social networks."

The @MiniInterRussia account attributed to the Russian minister later posted a message saying it was a hoax created by an Italian journalist.

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