A suicide bomber killed eleven and injured 30, some of them security men, near Zein Al-Abidine mosque in the central neighborhood of al-Midan in Damascus, Syrian state media said.
According to Al-Manar news, an official source said that a terrorist dressed with military uniform approached the law enforcement personnel while people were getting out of the mosque after completing the Friday prayers. A security officer asked for his identity card, so he instantly blew himself up, killing and injuring a number of people.
State television showed images of blackened flesh and a mangled hand lying on the underpass as soldiers and police cleared the area to make way for ambulance crews. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Earlier on Friday, three other smaller explosions also were reported in Damascus. Activists say one of the blast rocked a state-owned transport company nearby industrial zone and caused a number of casualties.
Also on Friday, thousands of protesters calling for President Bashar al-Assad's departure rallied in cities, including the flashpoints of Aleppo and Hama. Sixteen people have been killed by the gunfire of Syrian security forces across the country on Friday, the Syrian Revolution General Commission reported.
The Syrians for Human Rights Network, said regime forces had committed 86 cease-fire violations despite a U.N.-brokered ceasefire, including a helicopter gunship opening fire on a civilian area and snipers targeting protesters.
In Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the Syrian opposition of resorting to "terrorist tactics" reminiscent of the methods of al-Qaida, and has held opponents responsible for most of the violations of the cease-fire.
In India, U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon said he was "gravely alarmed" over Syria's rising death toll in spite of the government's repeated commitments to end violence.
Meanwhile, in New York, diplomats announced that General Robert Mood is on his way to Damascus, where he will take the lead in the observer mission of the U.N. This 54-year-old Norwegian officer had negotiated the first deployment of 30 observers, and will manage the arrival of another 100 members of the mission within a month.