Syrian conflict: Ministers killed in suicide attack
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Syrian conflict: Ministers killed in suicide attack

Damascus : Syria | Jul 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM PDT
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Assad Stages Damascus Bombings

A deadly suicide attack at a national security building in Damascus, Syria, has killed four top officials of President Assad’s inner circle. The blast that occurred at a national security building in Damascus also wounded several other people.

"The terrorist explosion which targeted the national security building in Damascus occurred during a meeting of ministers and a number of heads of [security] agencies," state TV said, according to a report on haaretz.com.

The top four officials killed in the carnage were Defense Minister Dawood Rajiha; Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat, al-Assad's brother-in-law; Hasan Turkmani, al-Assad's security adviser and assistant Vice President and Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar. Al-Assad quickly named Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij as the defense minister, state-run news agency SANA said.

The attack, during a meeting of ministers and security officials, was coordinated by several rebel brigades in Damascus, said the deputy head of the Free Syrian Army, Col. Malek al-Kurdi.

The blast came after the capital had been engaged in severe clashes between the government troops and the rebel groups for straight four days. The rebels who are trying to bring down the regime have been agitating throughout the country for the past sixteen months. Alone in the past few days more than 200 hundred people have died in the clashes.

The government has reported the blast as a suicide attack. The government officials explained that the information gathered from the sight indicated that it was a suicide attack. However, al Kurdi believes that a remote control bomb was used to detonate the explosive material near the national security building.

During the day several videos showing people rejoicing the death of the top four officials in Damascus’s suburbs were shared on social networking websites.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a jihadist group calling itself Lord of the Martyrs Brigade both said they were behind the security headquarters bombing. Political experts say that the present hour of chaos in Syria will worsen if the Security Council fails to devise a solution to the ongoing crisis. They believe that Syria is at the verge of a bloody civil war and further devastation in the country will be blamed on the countries heading the Security Council.

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File picture shows Syria's Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar listening to a question during a news conference in Damascus
File picture shows Syria's Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar listening to a question during a news conference in Damascus
Michelle Lincaster is based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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