Two powerful blasts targeted one of Syria's top military command buildings in Damascus Wednesday morning, engulfing the building in flames, Syrian television said.
The television said the explosions struck the General Staff Command Building (Hayat al Arkan al Amaa) in the Umayad Square in central Damascus, which is one of the top military headquarters in the country.
"Two terrorist explosions occurred near the building of the General Staff in Damascus," said the Syrian TV without elaborating. "A fire broke out in the area."
The other explosion occurred near the Air Force Intelligence building. The second explosion was accompanied by gunfire from automatic weapon, according to Reuters.
Activists on the ground told AFP news that huge columns of smoke were seen billowing over the area and windows were shattered hundreds of metres away as many ambulances headed to the site of the explosion.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in a statement released by the official media, said there were deaths as fierce fighting erupted in the headquarters compound immediately after the bombings.
For his part, Syrian regime information minister has declared that the twin blasts caused no casualties but only material damages resulted from the attack.
"The terrorist explosions were caused by two bombs but the only damage was to property," Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi told state television.
"All military commanders and army spokespeople are fine," he added.
Meanwhile, the rebel Free Syrian Army's military council carried a brief claim on its Facebook page. "The Free Syrian Army has struck the military headquarters in Damascus's Umayyad Square," it said.
According to the Free Syrian Army, the first explosion was under a meeting room at the Chiefs of Staff, at the same time the Free Syrian army had information on a large meeting that will be attended by at least 80 officers of the General Staff and thus determined the time of the explosion after 30 minutes of the meeting. This means that there are at least a number of wounded, if not dead, among the attendees.
The same source said that when information from reliable sources are available, they will declare in the Free Syrian Army the number of losses in the Syrian regime both dead and wounded.
In another incident, Maya Nasser, a reporter for Iran's Press TV network, has been killed by a sniper while reporting on air in Damascus, in the same incident. Press TV and Al-Alam Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada also came under attack and were injured, according to a Press TV statement.
The two were covering twin blasts in Damascus and the ensuing fighting, SANA news said.
Moreover, the coordinating committee of Yarmouk refugee camp said that six Palestinians were killed in Syria Wednesday, a local group said, with some of the bodies showing signs of torture.
The source said that four Palestinians were killed at a security checkpoint near the city of Aleppo. Their bodies were found on the street and showed indications of an execution-style killing, according to the group. Two other Palestinians were shot dead in their Damascus homes.
We have already mentioned that Bashar al-Assad's bedroom is unsafe, and every day our confidence increases that the Free Syrian Army knows how to hurt the Syrian regime.
The blast, which happened today in the General Staff Command Building, shows that the Free Syrian Army is, in fact, ruling Damascus and has information that is supposed to be highly confidential regarding the movements of the Syrian Army leadership.
Areas in which the explosion occurred are areas with high security monitors on ordinary days. For sure, these days are very high surveillance and not it is not an exaggeration to say that a mosquito can not fly in that area.
The explosion occurred 500 meters away from Assad's palace and this is further proof that the Free Syrian Army is directing powerful strikes at the regime.
The Syrian regime apparently will not mention anything about the losses in order not to raise the morale of the heroes in the Free Syrian Army. Anyway, they do not need the recognition of the regime. The Free Syrian Army will surprise the regime with the losses and perhaps photos of victims.
According to some beliefs, these bombings will continue and will target at the mean time all the sites and military bases. Certainly, Assad will understand this message - that who is controlling Damascus today is the Free Syrian Army.
A regime army source said four of the troops guarding the military headquarters died, and 14 other civilians and soldiers were injured in the terrorist attacks, according to SANA news.