At least 27 people were killed and 97 were wounded in two explosions which hit Damascus early on Saturday, a Syrian television channel said, quoting Health Minister Wael al-Halki.
Preliminary reports indicated that the blasts were caused by car bombs that hit the aviation intelligence department and the criminal security department, the Syrian state television said.
The state television said the two attacks targeted the criminal police headquarters and an office of Syria’s intelligence services.
Residents told Reuters that smoke was seen rising from vicinity of the blasts.
The blasts took place two days after the first anniversary of year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Dozens of people were killed in three bombings in Damascus in December and January.
“Two terrorist bombings struck Damascus this morning,” the Syrian television said.
Location of blasts
The blasts hit on Baghdad Boulevard in Al-Qasaa district and in the Duwar al-Jamarek area.
The state broadcaster ran footage of a charred body inside the mangled remains of a blackened and smoldering vehicle in Duwar al-Jamarek. The criminal police headquarters is seen in the background, with shutters apparently blown out.
“First pictures of the body of one of the terrorists who targeted Damascus today in Duwar al-Jamarek,” a message on the screen read.
The front of a multi-storey building was gutted by the impact of the other blast and several cars destroyed. The television broadcast images of wrecked apartments and blood-splattered streets.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that two powerful explosions targeted security service buildings in the capital.
A spate of bombings have hit Syria’s big cities in recent months amid growing concerns that Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of a year-old uprising against Assad to shift its focus of operations from neighboring Iraq.
On March 3, a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle in Daraa, south of Damascus, cradle of the protest movement that erupted in March last year, killing two people and wounding 20, including security personnel, state news agency SANA reported.
On January 6, a car bomb exploded in Damascus killing 26 people and wounding dozens more, most of them civilians. State media said it was a suicide attack and blamed "terrorists".
The blast came after twin bombs hit security services bases in the capital on December 23, with state media pointing the finger at Al-Qaeda.
Twin car bombs in the northern city of Aleppo on February 10 killed 28 people and wounded 235.
The United States has resisted mounting calls from its Gulf Arab allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the arming of rebels fighting loyalists troops for fear that the weapons might fall into the hands of the jihadists.
Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri voiced his support for the Syrian uprising in a February video message released on jihadist Internet forums.
In the video titled “Onwards, Lions of Syria,” Zawahiri criticized the Syrian regime for crimes against its citizens, and praised those rising up against the government.
The U.N. estimates that more than 8,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad began last March.