Under heavy bombardment by Syrian forces, rebel Gen. Michel Aoun left his fortified headquarters and went to the French Embassy Saturday, asking for a cease-fire, his radio station said.

The attack on his compound in the presidential palace came hours after an assassination attempt against Aoun, who opposes the Syrian-backed government of President Elias Hrawi."We have just learned that Prime Minister Gen. Michel Aoun headed for the French Embassy in Hazmiyeh and requested a cease-fire," Aoun's radio said. It did not elaborate.

The residential district of Hazmiyeh in Christian east Beirut is less than a mile from the presidential palace.

On Friday, a Shiite Moslem assailant fired at Aoun Friday as he addressed thousands of supporters, but the bullet missed the general and wounded one of his aides, Aoun's radio station said.

The assassination attempt came shortly after the Syrian army moved thousands of troops toward the enclave for an expected attack on the headquarters of Aoun, who has resisted orders by Lebanon's government to step down.

Aoun's radio said the assailant was questioned by military officials and confessed that he was ordered to kill Aoun.