BEIRUT -- Syria’s prime minister survived a bomb attack Monday that targeted his convoy in the capital of Damascus, state media reported, in the latest apparent assassination attempt against a top official in the government of President Bashar Assad.
Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi “is safe and he survived the explosion,” reported the official Syrian Arab News Agency. There were unconfirmed reports that the prime minister's bodyguard and several others were killed in the blast.
Footage on state television showed several heavily damaged vehicles and debris scattered along a major street in the Mazzeh district, an upscale neighborhood in western Damascus that is home to many senior officials and diplomats.
The state media reported “casualties and material damage,” but there was no official word on how many people were injured or if anyone had been killed.
The attack appeared to be a car bomb, though official accounts did not provide specifics.
Halqi, a senior figure in the governing Baath Party, was appointed prime minister last year after his predecessor, Riad Hijab, defected to the opposition and fled to Jordan.