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Syrian PM survives bomb attack

worldattempttokillpmsyriaDAMASCUS — Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi has survived a car bomb attack in the capital, Damascus, state media say.

The blast in the capital’s western Mazzeh district targeted Halqi’s convoy, state TV said, reportedly causing a number of casualties.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said Halqi’s bodyguard had been killed, AFP news agency reported.

It is unclear whether the blast was a suicide bombing or a planted device.

State television carried a brief interview with Halqi, saying that it was filmed after the attack.

He appears assured but somewhat shaken in the interview, in which he talks about a meeting he has just attended on the economy.

State TV said the blast happened at a busy intersection, near a public garden and a school. The upmarket neighbourhood is home to government buildings, the residences of several political figures and a military airport vital to the regime’s defences.

“I was walking in the street when suddenly there was a very powerful explosion and I saw a car burning and people running,” a witness told AFP.

An unnamed Syrian official said the explosion was caused by a bomb placed underneath a parked car in the area, the Associated Press news agency reported.

An earlier report said it had been a suicide attack. (BBC)

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