A bomb has exploded in a central district of Damascus, the Syrian capital, killing at least eight people.
Official news agency SANA says the bomb detonated at the entrance of a building near central Hijaz square at midday on Wednesday.
Eight people were killed and at least 50 were wounded in the blast, it added.
Unnamed officials were quoted as blaming “terrorists” for the attack, a term used by President Bashar al-Assad’s government to refer to the rebels fighting to overthrow him.
In a similar incident southeast of the capital, state-run Al Ikhbariya TV said an explosion went off in the city of Sweidah, causing a number of casualties. It did not give a number. If confirmed, it would be the first attack targeting a predominantly Druse city.
Syria’s civil war has taken increasingly sectarian overtones in the past year as predominantly Sunni Muslim rebels fight a government dominated largely by Alawites, a sect of Shi’ite Islam to which Assad belongs. Syria’s Christians have been targeted in previous attacks because Sunni rebels perceive them as siding with Assad.
Syria’s Christians are in support of Assad, apparently because his government takes no hard stance against them, a kind of freedom that may be lost if the hardline Muslims who constitute most rebel groups topple the Syrian regime.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks.
Rebels fighting to topple Assad have frequently targeted Damascus with bombs.
Armed opposition fighters tied to al-Qaeda have previously claimed bombings of government and security institutions in the capital and beyond.