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Syrian PM survives Damascus bombing

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki survived a bomb attack on his convoy in Damascus on Monday, state media and activists said, as rebels struck in the heart of President Bashar al-Assad's capital.

Six people were killed in the blast, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, the latest in a series of rebel attacks on government targets including a December bombing which wounded Assad's interior minister.

Halki wields little power but the attack highlighted the rebels’ growing ability to target symbols of Assad's authority in a civil war which has cost more than 70,000 lives, according to the United Nations.  Assad picked Halki in August to replace Riyadh Hijab, who defected and escaped to neighbouring Jordan just weeks after a Damascus bombing which killed four of the president's top security advisers.

In comments released by the state news agency SANA Halki was quoted as condemning the attack as a sign of ‘bankruptcy and failure of the terrorist groups’.
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