Syrian Defense Minister Gen. Daoud Rajha was killed by a suicide bombing attack at a national security building in Damascus. His deputy – Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat – has also been mortally wounded by the blast.
Another prominent governmental figure targeted by the attack is Syrian intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar. Bekhtyar is currently undergoing surgery for injuries sustained in the blast, a security source told Reuters.
The bomber worked as a bodyguard for President Bashar Assad’s inner circle, the news agency reports its sources as saying.
It also cites a Facebook statement by Liwa Al-Islam, a Syrian rebel Islamist group which has claimed responsibility for the attack.