Syrian state media and opposition groups have reported a bombing in Damascus on a government convoy. State television said that Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi was targeted, but was not hurt.
Syrian state media, Hezbollah's al-Manar television and the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights all reported a bomb attack on a government convoy in Damscus on Monday. The attack took place the city center, with Syrian media reporting that Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi had escaped the blast.
"The terrorist expolosion in Mazzeh was an attempt to target the prime minister's convoy and Dr. Wael al-Halqi was unharmed," state televison reported. The Al-Ikhbariya station said that al-Halqi went into a planned meeting with an economic committee after the incident.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said initial reports indicated that one person, most likely al-Halqi's bodyguard, was killed in the explosion. The Mazzeh district is a wealthy area of central Damascus, home to a number of senior Syrian officials as well as government and military institutions.
The Associated Press news agency reported, citing a Syrian government official speaking on condition of anonymity, that an improvised explosive device was laid under a car and detonated as the convoy went past. Other initial reports instead indicated a possible suicide bombing.
The prime minister was appointed in August 2012, following the defection to the opposition of his predecessor, Riad Hijab.
msh/dr (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)