The governor of Hama province in central Syria was killed in a car bombing on Sunday, state television reported, in an attack it blamed on rebels.
"Terrorists assassinated Anas Abdel Razzaq al-Naem, the Hama governor, in a car bomb attack in the Jarajma district of Hama," it said.
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The council of ministers said that Naem "died as a martyr, killed by criminal gangs."
Naem was appointed to the post in July 2011, four months after the beginning of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
He had replaced Khaled Abdel Aziz, who was sacked by Assad after massive anti-regime protests erupted in the town of Hama, where hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the regime before government troops arrived to crush the protests.
Assad's father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad crushed a Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the central Syrian city in 1982, killing between 10,000 and 40,000 people.