Syrian prime minister escapes bombing in Damascus

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Associated Press

Posted on April 29, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 29 at 5:34 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An attack today in Damascus is revealing the vulnerability of President Bashar Assad's regime.

The country's prime minister narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. According to state media, he was targeted in a bombing that killed as many as five other people. A government official said two people were killed and 11 were wounded. An activist group based in Britain put the death toll at five, including two bodyguards and a driver.

The bomber struck as the prime minister's convoy drove through a neighborhood that is home to embassies, government officials and business elites.

It's among a series of attacks targeting government officials in recent weeks. Last month, a suicide bombing at a mosque in Damascus killed a leading Sunni Muslim preacher and outspoken supporter of Assad. It followed a blast last July that killed four top regime officials, including Assad's brother-in-law and the defense minister, at the Syrian national security building in the capital.

%@AP Links

172-c-15-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)-"several other officials"-AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo reports a car bombing has targeted Syria's prime minister. (29 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *172 (04/29/13)>> 00:15 "several other officials"

170-v-33-(Mark Lavie (lah-VEE'), AP Middle East correspondent)--A bombing in Syria has targeted the country's prime minister. More from AP Middle East Correspondent Mark Lavie in Cairo. (29 Apr 2013)

<<CUT *170 (04/29/13)>> 00:33

GRAPHICSBANK: Wael Nader al-Halqi headshot, as Syria Prime Minister, on flag texture, partial graphic (29 Apr 2013)

APPHOTO BEI107: This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrians inspecting a damaged car at the scene of a car bomb exploded in the capital's western neighborhood of Mazzeh, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, April. 29, 2013. State-run Syrian TV says Prime Minister Wael al-Halqir has escaped unhurt in an assassination attempt when a bomb went off near his convoy. (AP Photo/SANA) (29 Apr 2013)

<<APPHOTO BEI107 (04/29/13)>>

APPHOTO BEI106: This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a Syrian man reacts after a car bomb exploded in the capital's western neighborhood of Mazzeh, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, April. 29, 2013. State-run Syrian TV says the country's prime minister has escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb went off near his convoy. Syrian TV says Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi was unhurt in the attack. (AP Photo/SANA) (29 Apr 2013)

<<APPHOTO BEI106 (04/29/13)>>

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