Twin bomb blasts killed 27 people and wounded almost 100 others in central Damascus on Saturday.
The early morning terrorist attacks, timed minutes apart, targeted criminal police headquarters in the Duwar al-Jamarek area and air force intelligence offices in Al-Qasaa district, state television said.
“Twenty-seven people, mostly civilians, were killed and 97 others wounded in the two explosions,” Health Minister Wael al-Halaqi said on Syria News, another official channel, as angry residents vented their fury at Arab supporters of anti-regime activists.
“According to our initial information, they were car bombs,” state television said.
The broadcaster ran footage of a charred body inside the mangled remains of a smoldering vehicle in Duwar al-Jamarek. “First pictures of the body of one of the terrorists who targeted Damascus today,” a message on the screen read.
The front of a multi-story building was gutted by the impact of the other blast and several cars destroyed. The television broadcast images of wrecked apartments and blood-splattered streets.
Commentators on state television blamed Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the fiercest Arab critics of President Bashar al-Assad over his regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent since last March, which have both called for rebels to be armed.
They carried “political, judicial and religious responsibility,” one charged.
A spate of bombings have hit Syria’s big cities in recent months amid growing concerns that Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of the year-old uprising against Assad to shift its focus of operations from neighboring Iraq.
On March 3, a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle in Daraa, south of Damascus, cradle of the protest movement that erupted in March last year, killing two people and wounding 20, including security personnel, state news agency SANA reported.
On January 6, a car bomb exploded in Damascus killing 26 people and wounding dozens more, most of them civilians. State media said it was a suicide attack and blamed “terrorists.”
The blast came after twin bombs hit security services bases in the capital on December 23, with state media pointing the finger at Al-Qaeda.
Twin car bombs in the northern city of Aleppo on February 10 killed 28 people and wounded 235.
The United States has resisted mounting calls from its Gulf Arab allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the arming of rebels fighting loyalists troops for fear that the weapons might fall into the hands of the jihadists.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri voiced his support for the Syrian uprising in a February video message released on jihadist Internet forums.