Wael al-Halqi the Prime Minster of Syria survived a car bombing attack on Monday that target the convoy he was traveling in, in the capital of Damascus, said state media reports.

The explosion took place in the section of the capital known as al-Mazzeh and targeted the Prime Minister’s large convoy of vehicles. Authorities said al-Halqi was not hurt in the incident, but there were reports of casualties.

Footage was shown by state television of cars that had been heavily damaged and lots of debris in the area of where the blast took place. Firefighters could be seen trying to extinguish a blaze that had been caused due to the strong explosion.

Observers said the attack was very strong and a big blow to the Syrian regime. Over the last few weeks, the government has been able to make positive gains in the ground, and many feel this bombing was just a way for the rebels to show they were not going to go away easily.

An official from the government said that an explosive device had been placed under a parked car in the area and when al-Halqi’s vehicle passed by, the bomb was detonated. However, this official asked for anonymity since he was not authorized to discuss the situation with the media.

One group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is a group of activists based in the UK with sources throughout Syria, said one of the bodyguards for al-Halqi was killed in the explosion. The group said another bodyguard and the car’s driver were both in critical condition.

Following the bombing, al-Halqi is said to have entered an important economic committee meeting.

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