Two car bombs exploded near "security service bases" in Damascus on Friday, killing both military personal and civilians in the heart of the Syrian capital. There were no official word on casualty figures, but a Syrian state TV report showed numerous bodies and extensive damage. Lebanon TV says the at least 30 were killed and dozens more wounded.
Syria officials blamed al-Qaeda-related terrorists for the suicide blasts, but has also claimed that the entire nine-month uprising that has engulfed the country is the work of outside terrorist group and not a legitimate protest by its own people. The attacks come at the end of a long-week of violence and one day after the first Arab League officials arrived in the country to from a "monitoring mission." The Syria government has said the monitors will vindicate their claims that the violence is the work of terrorists and the government response has been appropriate. Opposition activists say the mission is merely a "ploy" to distract the Arab League and prevent them from going to the United Nations for more serious sanctions. More marches were planned across the country today, even as protesters fear more violence from the military.
The bombs were the first such attack to hit the Syria capital since the uprising began in March.