Beirut: Syria's state-run TV says the country's defence minister has been killed in a suicide blast in the capital.
Wednesday's attack struck the National Security building in Damascus during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials. State-run TV said some of the officials were seriously wounded and later reported the defense minister killed.
The capital has seen four straight days of clashes pitting government troops against rebels, who are trying to bring down the regime by force.
This image made from video provided by Shaam News Network Tuesday, July 17, 2012, purports to show Syrian tanks in Damascus, Syria. AP
The fighting is an unprecedented challenge to government rule in President Bashar Assad's seat of power.
Syria's state-run TV says the President's brother-in-law is among the dead in a suicide bombing in Damascus.