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Syrian ministers killed in suicide attack

  • Three Syrian ministers from President Assad's defence team have died in a suicide bombing.

    The president's defence minister, brother-in-law and head of his crisis team were killed while at a meeting at national security headquarters in Damascus.

    No footage has yet been released of the attack in which the national security chief and interior minister were also believed to have been injured.

    Gen Daoud Rajiha had been defence minister for less than a year, serving previously as chief of staff.

    Gen Assef Shawkat was married to Assad's sister Bushra and seen as a top security chief.

    Gen Hassan Turkomani was a former defence minister and assistant to the vice president and headed the president’s crisis management office.

    Security sources say the suspected bomber worked as a bodyguard for members of Assad's inner circle.

    The attack comes as rebels claim to have launched an offensive on the capital, calling their operation Damascus Volcano.