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4 Syrian Cabinet ministers defect
Rebel spokesman: 4 Syrian Cabinet ministers have defected including prime minister
By The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) A rebel spokesman says four Syrian Cabinet ministers have defected, including the prime minister.

Prime Minister Riad Hijab is the highest level government official to defect in the 17-month uprising.

Ahmad Kassim, a senior official with the Free Syrian Army, said Monday that Hijab defected to Jordan along with three other ministers. The other ministers' identities were not immediately known.

The remarks came shortly after Syrian state-run TV said Hijab was fired from his post, less than two months after taking office. Hijab is a former agriculture minister and a loyalist in Assad's ruling Baath party.

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