Syria’s deputy defense minister Assef Shawkat and security Chief General Hisham Ikhtiyar have been killed in a bomb attack on a security building in the capital Damascus.
Syrian Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha was also killed in the bombing at the headquarters of the National Security Bureau on Wednesday.
Cabinet ministers and senior security officials were meeting inside the building at the time of the explosion. Many others, including Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar, were injured in the blast. He is reported to be in a stable condition.
Shawkat is President Assad’s brother-in-law. He is married to Assad’s sister Bushra.
The terrorist Free Syrian Army (FSA) and another armed group, fighting against the Syrian government, have both claimed responsibility for the attack.
Some reports suggest that the suspected bomber worked as a bodyguard for the officials.
The FSA has warned of more violence in coming days.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army has pledged a crushing response following the attack, stressing that Damascus will continue fighting terrorism.
“The terrorist act increases the armed forces’ determination to cleanse the country of terrorist groups,” the army said in a statement.
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