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Syrian PM Survives Bomb Attack

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi has survived a bomb attack against his convoy in Damascus, the latest attack targeting top officials in President Bashar al-Assad's government.

State media say Monday's blast in the Mazzeh district on the west side of the capital caused casualties, but that the prime minister was unhurt.

State television footage showed heavily damaged vehicles and debris in the area, including a blackened school bus, as firefighters hosed down a blaze caused by the blast.

Syrian officials blamed the attack on "terrorists," a term the government frequently uses to describe those fighting to end Mr. Assad's rule.

The attack in Mazzeh, an upscale area of Damascus that is home to many senior officials, was not the first assassination attempt targeting a high official.

Last July, a suicide bomb attack at the Syrian national security building in Damascus killed Syria's defense minister and deputy defense minister.

Syria's conflict started with largely peaceful anti-government protests in March 2011, but has since turned into a civil war. The United Nations estimates that more than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.

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FILE - Police from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team take part in an anti-terrorist drill in Dongying, Shandong province, July 11, 2014.

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