At least 27 people were killed and more than 97 were wounded including several security police members and civilians in two explosions which hit Damascus early on Saturday, a Syrian television channel said, quoting Health Minister Wael al-Halki. The state television blamed what it said were terrorists behind the year-long
uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Video from a blast at the aviation intelligence
headquarters showed the front of the building blown away, with numerous burnt
out cars littering the street below.
The second bomb targeted a criminal security
headquarters, with television showing the smoldering wreckage of a car at the
site, and what appeared to be at a charred corpse inside the mangled shell.
A minivan nearby had a pool of blood on the
floor. Its doors and windows were shattered and its panels were also stained
red with blood. Damascus residents said clouds of black smoke could be seen
rising from the areas where the blasts struck.
No one claimed responsibility for the twin
attacks, which appeared to be similar to suicide bombings that struck Damascus
and Syria's second city Aleppo in the last three months.
The explosions came two days after the
first anniversary of year-long uprising, in which the United Nations says more
than 8,000 people have been killed and some 230,000 forced to flee their homes
as the violence spreads.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that two policemen were
killed and three others were wounded in an attack launched by unidentified
gunmen at dawn Saturday on the police department in the town of Hritan, in
Meanwhile, the Syrian Foreign Ministry
sent two identical letters to the President of the U.N. Security Council and
the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The letter read that Damascus will proceed with its duty to protect its citizens and disarm and punish
terrorists in order to find a political solution to the crisis in cooperation
with the U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.