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Syrian parliament speaker says the country will hold presidential elections on June 3

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DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria's parliament speaker says the country will hold presidential elections on June 3.

Monday's announcement by the speaker, Mohammed Lahham, came just hours after a pair of mortars exploded near the parliament building in central Damascus, killing five people.

President Bashar Assad is likely to seek another seven-year term in office despite an uprising against his rule that is now in its fourth year.

The country's conflict has killed over 150,000 people and forced one-third of the country's population from their homes.

Lahham says candidates seeking to run for president can start registering their candidacy from April 22.

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