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Dawoud Rajiha, Syrian Minister of Defense was killed in the suicide bombing that targeted National Security building in Damascus during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials, according to Syrian sources

Update; Hezbollah’s mouthpiece Al Manar reported that the Syrian minister of Interior was seriously injured in suicide bombing.

al Manar also reported that Intelligence chief Assef Shawkat was seriously injured

Syria’s minister of Information is expected to hold a press conference shortly to talk about the suicide attack

The explosion marks a pivotal point in the 16-month Syrian crisis and comes days after heavy violence reached the seat of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Rajiha is the highest-ranking known member of the Syrian regime to be killed.

Meanwhile, in the besieged city of Homs, “regime forces have intensified the shelling by using helicopter gunships, artillery and mortars in the city,” the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

By midday Wednesday, at least 15 people had been killed across the country, the opposition network said.

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