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Syria minister car fired on, driver killed: State TV

AFP , Saturday 23 Nov 2013
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Gunmen fired on the car of a Syrian government minister on Saturday, killing his driver but missing their target, who was not in the vehicle, state television reported.

"National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar escaped an assassination attempt on the Masyaf-Qadmus road, and his driver was killed," the television said in a breaking news alert.

Haidar was not in the car at the time of the shooting, it added.

Masyaf is in central Hama province, while Qadmus lies in the coastal province of Tartus.

Haidar, head of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, was appointed minister for national reconciliation by President Bashar al-Assad in June 2012.

He belongs to that part of the opposition which is tolerated by the regime and distances itself from the rebels fighting to overthrow Assad.

Born in the city of Hama in 1962, Haidar is an eye specialist.

One of his children was killed by unidentified gunmen in Hama in May 2012, shortly before he was appointed minister.

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