William Hague condemns Syria bombing


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William Hague today condemned the reported killing of Syria's defence minister.

The Foreign Secretary said the apparent attack on defence minister Dawoud Rajha should pave the way for a new United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution.

Mr Hague was speaking amid claims Syrian president Bashar Assad's brother-in-law General Assef Shawkat, the deputy defence minister, also died in the bombing.

"We are aware of reports that the Syrian defence and deputy defence ministers have been killed, and a number of others injured, by an apparent suicide bombing in Damascus," Mr Hague said.

"This incident, which we condemn, confirms the urgent need for a chapter VII resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria.

"The situation in Syria is clearly deteriorating. All the members of the UN Security Council have a responsibility to put their weight behind the enforcement of joint special envoy Kofi Annan's plan to end the violence.

"We call on all parties to refrain from violence and for the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities."