Suicide bomber kills top officials
SYRIA'S Defence Minister and a brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad were killed in an attack last night by a suicide bomber in Damascus.
General Daoud Rajha and Major-General Assef Shawkat, who was the deputy defence minister, were the most senior officials to be killed since the uprising started 17 months ago.
The explosion at a security meeting also seriously injured other officials, including the interior minister and intelligence chief, reports said.
With tensions already high in Damascus after three days of clashes between the army and rebels near the city centre, the attack could represent a turning point in the uprising, analysts said.
There were reports of mass defections.
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