A twin suicide bombing in the Syrian capital of Damascus has killed at least 55 people and wounded an additional 372 victims, Syria's interior minister said Thursday.
The first explosion occurred in the al-Qazzaz district in the south of the city, shortly before 8 a.m. local time.
A second device, much larger than the first and timed to go off as people gathered at the scene of the first blast, then exploded a short time later.
The area is said to house a military intelligence complex.
I heard the two explosions clearly from my house. The whole of Damascus heard them, a Damascus resident who gave his name as Ahmad, told the BBC.
They were very, very strong -- the biggest explosions I have ever heard. At first, I thought they were air strikes.
Residents near the region reportedly saw plumes of smoke in the sky caused by the blasts. Television footage showed a row of wrecked vehicles.
Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan condemned the attacks, saying: These abhorrent acts are unacceptable and the violence in Syria must stop.
According to the report, television footage showed many disfigured, burnt bodies -- the victims were mostly civilians.
Despite the capital city being under the tight control of President Bashar al-Assad's forces, the area has been shaken by several explosions in recent days.
The blasts have targeted security installations and the regime's vehicles.
The last major explosion took place on April 27 when a suicide bomber killed at least nine people and wounded several others.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that the total death toll in the country has gone up to 12,000 over the 14-month period of the uprising against Assad.