Syrian prime minister survives assassination attempt in Damascus

News Brief — April 2013

Syria’s prime minister narrowly escaped assassination Monday after a bomb went off near his convoy in the capital, Damascus.

According to a report from Syria’s state-run TV, Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi was uninjured in the attack in the western neighbourhood of Mazzeh but there were some casualties.

This is not the first time a high ranking official has been targeted in the Syrian capital.

In July last year a blast at the national security building in Damascus during a meeting of Cabinet ministers killed the defense minister and his deputy, who was President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law.

The interior minister was also wounded in the attack.

Meanwhile the Syrian Army raided a number of militant hideouts in and around Damascus Sunday, killing or capturing a number of militants in the process.

In Daraya, which is eight kilometers (5 miles) southwest of Damascus, Syrian troops killed Abu Mus’ab, who was the leader of the so-called Asoud al-Furqan militant group.

Syrian troops also engaged militants in Jobar area, located about two kilometers (1.2 miles) northeast of the capital. The militant commander of terrorist Hamza and al-Abbas Battalion, Abu Hamza al-Maidani, was among those killed during the clashes, SANA reported.

While in the town of Zamalka, about four kilometers (2.5 miles) east of Damascus, the Syrian Army stormed a terrorist hideout and seized a large amount of weapons and munitions after a fierce gun battle

The Syrian government blames foreign backed militants for the conflict, which has dragged on now for over two years.

It started with peaceful protests in March 2011 but turned into armed conflict when Western nations and their Gulf allies tried to exploit the dissent and began arming and transporting foreign militants to Syria.

The United Nations says that more than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.

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