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Syrian state TV station bombed in Damascus, PM fired

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Syrian state TV station bombed in Damascus, PM fired
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Moscow/Damascus: The Syrian state television and radio building in Damascus was Monday rocked by a powerful bomb blast, even as Prime Minister Riyad Hijab was dismissed after just two months in the post.

An improvised explosive device went off on the third floor of the building in central Damascus, injuring a number of people. The office of the Syrian information minister is located in the same building.

Information Minister Omran al-Zoabi said the bomb caused severe damage, but only led to "minor injuries" to several people. No deaths were reported in the blast. State television put the number of wounded at three.

"We know who is behind this cowardly, desperate and deplorable act," the minister said, pointing at an armed rebel opposition movement that has purportedly carried out similar attacks in the capital in the past. "Nothing will stop the voice of Syria," he said.

Meanwhile, Omar Ghalawanji, the country's deputy prime minister, has been named as acting prime minister.

Sacked prime minsiter Hijab, a former agricultural minister, was appointed by President Bashar al-Assad in June, following parliamentary elections in May.

BBC said there has been no immediate explanation for his sacking from the Assad government.

On Sunday, militants attacked the TV and radio building in the northern city of Aleppo. They managed to take partial control of the building but later withdrew.

The Syrian conflict has claimed 14,000-20,000 lives since March 2011, according to estimates by various opposition groups and the UN.

IANS

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