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The scene of one of today's explosions in Damascus.
The scene of one of today's explosions in Damascus.
Image: AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi/PA Images

Dozens killed as twin explosions strike Syrian capital

State news agency SANA says that car bombs appear to have been involved in the attacks which killed several people this morning.
Mar 17th 2012, 3:00 PM 1,501 5

Updated at 3pm

TWO EXPLOSIONS which struck the Syrian capital of Damascus this morning are reported to have killed at least 27 people and wounded around 100 others.

Officials said earlier that police officers and civilians were killed in the and that preliminary investigations suggest that car bombs were involved in the attack, state news agency SANA reports.

Syrian authorities blamed terrorists for the explosions, though no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Footage from Damascus broadcast by Russia Today show pools of blood alongside severe damage to cars and property at the scene: (warning: video contains images some may find distressing)

(Video via RussiaToday)

One of the explosions hit the aviation intelligence department, while the second struck the criminal security department at around 7.30am local time. Witnesses on the scene say that gunfire broke out after the explosions, dispersing the crowds that had begun gathering in the area.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for three bomb attacks which struck the city earlier this year and in December.

Al Jazeera correspondent Zeina Khodr said that confusion has surrounded the attacks, with the government blaming unidentified terrorists, the opposition blaming the government for orchestrating the attacks, and US officials suggesting that al-Qaida could be involved.

The UN estimates that over 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict which broke out after protests calling for politcal reform began in March 2011.

- Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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