Syria's foreign ministry said on Thursday that the two deadly suicide car bombings
that ripped through Damascus on Thursday, were a sign that the major Arab state was facing foreign-backed terrorism and urged the UN Security Council to combat countries or groups supporting such violence.
"Syria stresses the importance of the UNSC taking measures against countries, groups and news agencies that are practicing and encouraging terrorism," the state news agency SANA quoted the ministry as saying in a letter to the UN body.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "strongly condemned" the two bombings in Syria,
and called on all sides to cease armed violence and distance themselves from "indiscriminate bombings and other terrorist attacks."
"The secretary-general strongly condemns today's attacks in Damascus," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.
"It's an urgent call from him on all sides fully to comply with their obligations to cease armed violence in all its forms, and to protect civilians, as well as to distance themselves from indiscriminate bombings and other terrorist attacks," he said.
The blasts further shredded a ceasefire
that was declared by international mediator Kofi Annan on April 12 but which has failed to halt bloodshed pitting Assad's security forces against peaceful demonstrators and an array of armed insurgents.
Annan himself condemned the "abhorrent" bombings and urged all parties to halt violence and protect civilians. "The Syrian people have already suffered too much," he said in a statement.
Two suicide car bombers killed 55 people and wounded 372 in Damascus on Thursday, state media said, the deadliest attacks in the Syrian capital since an uprising
against President Bashar Assad
began 14 months ago.