Three bombs ripped through the center of the Syrian city of Aleppo Wednesday killing and injuring dozens, state media reported.
The blasts, two of which were reportedly car bombs, occurred at Saadallah al-Jabiri Square near a military officers' club and hotel, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, or SOHR, reported.
AFP reported that the facade of the hotel was destroyed and a cafe collapsed. All government buildings were immediately shut following the blast, the report said.
The Syrian government troops began a fresh offensive Tuesday in Damascus and sent more soldiers to Aleppo even as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon urged President Bashar al-Assad to show “compassion” in the fight against insurgents.
Pro-regime daily Al-Watan said more troops were sent to Aleppo as rebels were starting to flee. "New reinforcements have arrived to support the army ... and the armed men [rebels] are now fatigued and have begun to flee to their villages and towns in the province of Aleppo and elsewhere," Al-Watan said.
Nationwide, at least 104 people -- 57 civilians, 26 soldiers and 21 rebels -- were killed in Tuesday’s violence, the SOHR said.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Monday that a diplomatic resolution could be reached if the West and Arab nations stopped supporting the rebels.
In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem singled out France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the U.S. for inducing and supporting terrorism in Syria "with money, weapons and foreign fighters."
He said that the Syrian government was the “victim” of foreign interference but it still believed in “a political solution as an essential way out of the crisis.”
Ban, speaking to Muallem shortly before the foreign minister's speech, "raised in the strongest terms the continued killings, massive destruction, human rights abuses and aerial and artillery attacks committed by the government," U.N. chief’s spokesman was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"He stressed that it was the Syrian people who were being killed every day and appealed to the government of Syria to show compassion to its own people," the spokesman said.
According to the SOHR estimates, the death toll in Syria from 18 months of violence has crossed 31,000.