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Syria Prime Minister Riad Hijab defects, says spokesman

6 August 2012 Last updated at 18:03 BST

Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab has defected from President Bashar al-Assad's government over the killing of civilians, his spokesman says.

Mr Hijab was appointed less than two months ago and his departure is the highest-profile defection since the uprising began in March 2011.

State-run TV reported that he had been sacked.

His spokesman, Mohammed el-Etri, spoke to the BBC, his words are spoken by a translator.