Syrian prime minister survives bomb attack- UPDATED

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki escaped an assassination bid on Monday, surviving a blast that targeted his convoy in Damascus

Syrian prime minister survives bomb attack- UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki survived a bomb attack that targeted his convoy in central Damascus on Monday, Syrian state media and Hezbollah's al-Manar television reported.

"The terrorist explosion in al-Mezze was an attempt to target the convoy of the prime minister. Doctor Wael al-Halqi is well and not hurt at all," state television said.

It had earlier reported that a "terrorist explosion" in the Mezze district, where many government and military institutions are situated and where senior Syrian officials live, had caused casualties.

A picture uploaded by opposition activists showed thick black smoke rising from the purported site of the explosion.

The Britain-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of sources across Syria, said initial reports indicated one person accompanying the prime minister had been killed.

An AFP photographer at the scene said several vehicles were destroyed in the blast, including a bus burned out by the explosion. The windshields of other cars nearby were also blown out.

State television al-Ikhbariya broadcast footage of Halqi attending a government meeting, but without indicating whether the images were from after the attack or not.

Mazzeh is an upscale neighbourhood in western Damascus, home to a number of senior regime figures.

Halki was appointed prime minister in August 2012 after his predecessor Riad Hijab defected to the opposition.

The last major attack in Damascus was on April 9, when a massive blast killed at least 15 people in the centre of the capital.

Some of the groups fighting with the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's regime have resorted increasingly to the use of bombs to target senior government figures.

In July 2012, a bomb attack killed Syria's defence minister and deputy defence minister and left the country's interior minister seriously wounded.


Last Mod: 29 Nisan 2013, 14:50
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