* Shaar's condition not critical, hit by shrapnel
* He was also wounded in July bomb that killed 4 Assad aides
BEIRUT Dec 20 Syria's interior minister was
receiving treatment in Beirut on Thursday for wounds to his
shoulder, stomach and legs suffered when his ministry in
Damascus was bombed last week, Lebanese medical sources said.
They said Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar's condition was not
life-threatening and that doctors were trying to remove shrapnel
and perform reconstructive surgery on his wounds.
The minister was in a wheelchair, but had spoken with
officials on his arrival in Beirut on Wednesday evening.
A car bomb and two other explosives were detonated at the
Interior Ministry in Damascus eight days ago and at least one of
the blasts struck inside the ministry complex, residents said.
Syrian state media said at the time five people were killed,
including a member of parliament, but that Shaar was not hurt.
It was the second time Shaar had been wounded in five
months. He was also hit by the July 18 bomb that killed four of
President Bashar al-Assad's top security officials.
Days after that explosion the 62-year-old minister, his arm
strapped and in a sling, told state television the assassination
had only hardened the authorities' determination to crush the
uprising against Assad, which is now 21 months old.
"Before this cowardly explosion, we were all working flat
out. But now we will exert 10 times the effort to pursue those
who threaten the security of our country," he said.
Shaar, born in Latakia in 1950 and a member of Assad's
Alawite minority, served as head of military police before the
president appointed him interior minister in April 2011, part of
a government installed four weeks after the revolt broke out.
According to his biography on the ministry's web site, he
joined the army aged 19, and is married with five children.
In May his name was added to a European Union list of Syrian
officials facing EU sanctions because he was "involved in
violence against demonstrators".