03/25/2013 04:01 EDT | Updated 05/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Syrian activists say rebel leader wounded in bomb attack on his car

BEIRUT - Syrian activists say a top rebel military leader has been wounded and possibly killed by a bomb stuck to his car.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday the blast targeted Col. Riad al-Asaad during a visit to the town of Mayadeen in eastern Syria.

Col. Riad al-Assad is a prominent army defector army who became head of the Free Syrian Army, an umbrella group that tried to gather rebel fighters under a unified command.

But al-Asaad became little more than a figurehead and his group has been superseded by the Office of the Chiefs of Staff, associated with the opposition Syrian National Coalition.

The Observatory reported conflicting reports on al-Asaad's fate, with some saying he had been killed and others saying he lost a leg.