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Syrian prime minister escapes assassination attempt

Wael al-Halqi was travelling through Damascus when his convoy was targeted earlier today, Syrian state television reports.

Wael al-Halqi talking with officials at a summit in Iran last year.
Wael al-Halqi talking with officials at a summit in Iran last year.
Image: Vahid Salemi/AP/Press Association

SYRIAN PRIME MINISTER Wael al-Halqi has escaped an assassination bid, surviving a blast that targeted his convoy in Damascus, Syrian state television reports.

“The terrorist explosion in Mazzeh was an attempt to target the prime minister’s convoy and Dr. Wael al-Halqi was unharmed,” state television reports

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog reported that a car bomb targeted Halqi’s convoy as it passed through the Mazzeh district of Damascus, killing one of his bodyguards.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said Halqi’s driver and a second bodyguard were also seriously wounded in the explosion.

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.

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

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

- © AFP, 2013

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