Two explosions left a scene of smoldering carnage in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Thursday morning, killing 55 people and injuring nearly 400.

A source said the blasts occurred near a complex of buildings that houses the headquarters of one of Syria’s secret police forces and intelligence operations.

In keeping with the standard official explanation for attacks that appear to be associated with the ongoing uprising, state media and the Assad government blamed the explosions on terrorists. –ARK

The Guardian:

[Syrian TV] blamed terrorists for the blasts, which were in the Qazaz area, where a Syrian intelligence agency has its headquarters. The explosions occurred at about 7.50am local time on Thursday during the rush hour, according to the state news agency Sana.

Fifty-five people were killed and 372 wounded in the attacks, according to the Syrian foreign affairs spokesman Jihad Makdissi, who appealed for people to donate blood. Describing it as possibly the “strongest and bloodiest” attack so far, he said two suicide bombers blew up cars containing more than 1,000kg of explosives.

Videos posted online showed a plume of thick black smoke rising above Qazaz, in the south-west of the city. Syrian TV showed graphic pictures of burnt corpses and body parts on the ground, as well as gutted vehicles. People worked to free bodies from the wreckage of vehicles and to extinguish blazes.

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