Syria’s capital Damascus has been rocked by twin bomb attacks.
The rebel Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for the blasts which occurred within minutes of each other and targeted one of Syria’s top military command buildings.
Rebels claim dozens were killed. But Syrian officials say the bombs caused only material damage at the army’s Chief of Staff headquarters.
Local residents said smaller explosions and exchanges of gunfire were heard in the vicinity shortly afterwards.
The double-bombing follows two explosions inside a Damascus school on Tuesday which activists claim was being used as a command centre by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
The blasts come despite a major security upgrade following a rebel attack in July, which caused the deaths of several of the regime’s senior figures.
While fighting also continues in several cities including the rebel stronghold of Homs, UK-based observers said around 70 people had been arrested around the coastal city of Banias in recent days.