In Syria, a suicide car bomber has detonated a powerful device in a heavily populated area of the capital Damascus, killing and wounding many people.
Early reports put the number of dead at at least 15, and wounded at more than 40.
Syrian state television said the blast was near a school in Sabaa Bahrat, the city’s main business district. It is also home to the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry.
One resident said it was the biggest explosion she had heard in all of the two year conflict to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
Nobody has yet formally claimed the attack, but the government blamed it on ‘terrorists’, a term it uses for the rebels.
Opposition forces have stepped up their attacks on the government-held heart of Damascus in recent weeks.