Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi has survived a bomb attack that targeted his convoy in central Damascus, Syrian state media report.
“The terrorist explosion in al-Mezzeh was an attempt to target the convoy of the prime minister. Doctor Wael al-Halqi is well and not hurt at all,” Syrian state television said on Monday.
At least six people were reportedly killed in the blast, and more than 20 wounded.
State television showed footage of heavily damaged cars and debris in the area of the blast as firefighters fought to extinguish a large blaze caused by the explosion.
According to reports, the attack on the prime minister’s convoy was “a very strong strike and blow to the Syrian government.
“In the past few weeks we’ve seen the government making gains on the ground, so this seems more of a defiant move to show the government the rebels are not giving up,” she said.
Improvised explosive device
A Syrian government official told The Associated Press that an improvised explosive device was placed under a car that was parked in the area and was detonated as al-Halqi’s car drove by.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The government-run Al-Ikhbariya station said al-Halqi went into a meeting with an economic committee straight after the bombing.
Al-Halqi was appointed to the position in August 2012 after his predecessor Riad Hijab defected to the opposition.
The attack was not the first targeting a high official in the Syrian capital over the past year. On July 18, a blast at the Syrian national security building in Damascus during a meeting of Cabinet ministers killed the defence minister and his deputy, who was President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law.