The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said the explosions targeted an intelligence services base, saying at least one of the blasts was caused by a car bomb. Residents said the explosions rattled windows and sent plumes of smoke billowing into the sky.
An apocalyptic scene of charred bodies, rubble and the mangled carcasses of vehicles, with smoke still rising from them filled the televised broadcast. Major General Robert Mood, chief of the UN observer mission in Syria, rushed to the site of the blasts shortly after they took place to survey the damage.
Damascus has been the target of a number of bombs in past months as President Bashar al-Assad faces a revolt against his regime which his forces are attempting to crush.
UN leader Ban Ki-moon warned Syria's government and opposition there is only a 'brief window' to avoid civil war and indicated the future of the ceasefire monitoring mission was in doubt.
Highlighting an 'alarming upsurge' of roadside bombs, alongside government attacks, Ban said in New York both sides 'must realise that we have a brief window to stop the violence, a brief opportunity to create an opening for political engagement between the government and those seeking change'.
The Observatory said that almost 12,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria since the revolt, inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings, which broke out in March of last year.
Close to 800 of the dead have occurred since a UN-backed truce was supposed to have taken effect on April 12. One can clearly assume, the peace mission is having no affect.