Television footage showed dozens of mangled, burnt and smoldering vehicles, some containing incinerated human remains. A large crater could be seen in the road and at least one lorry had been overturned.
- Syria says freed 265 political prisoners Syria: Video shows 'soldier's body' dragged
- 20 dead in bombings at security HQs in Idlib
Damascus residents said the two explosions, which happened almost simultaneously shortly before 8 am, struck a district of Damascus which houses a military intelligence complex involved in President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on 14 months of protests.
Blast site in Damascus
The nature of the blasts was not immediately clear. State-run Syrian TV said the explosions were in the Qazaz neighborhood, where a Syrian intelligence agency has its headquarters.
Central Damascus is tightly under the control of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad but has been struck by several bomb attacks, often targeting security installations or convoys.
Scene of explosion (Photo: Reuters)
The latest major explosion on the capital occurred on April 27 when a suicide bomber in Damascus detonated an explosives belt near members of the security forces, killing at least nine people and wounding 26.
Syria's conflict started in March 2011 with mass protests calling for political reform. The government swiftly cracked down, dispatching tanks, troops, snipers and pro-government thugs to quash dissent, and many members of the opposition took up arms to defend themselves and attack government troops. Many soldiers also switched sides.
Many cars caught fire (Photo: AFP)
The UN said weeks ago that more than 9,000 people had been killed. Hundreds more have died since.
In Washington, meanwhile, President Barack Obama took steps to extend sanctions against Assad's government, saying Syria poses an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to US national security and diplomatic goals.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to the report
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop