(CNN) – Two strong explosions rocked the Syrian capital Thursday, state television reported, leaving bloody streets littered with debris as thick black smoke drifted into the sky.

The number of casualties was unclear, but dozens were dead or injured, according to Syrian state television.

The blasts occurred in Qazzaz neighborhood and destroyed the nation’s intelligence agency, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Preliminary information indicates it was a car explosion, the opposition group said. But state television described the blasts as “terrorist explosions.”

Videos on state television showed panicked residents running down bloody streets strewn with body parts and burned cars. Some residents scrambled to gingerly haul injured residents from scorched cars while others zipped up the dead in what appeared to be body bags.

Amid the chaos, plumes of smoke and white ashes rose into the hazy skies as rescue crews rushed toward the injured.

The blasts come hours after a leading opposition activist group said regime forces have killed hundreds since a cease-fire went into effect about a month ago.

As of Wednesday, at least 1,025 people have been killed, including 60 children, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. The deaths include executions and tortures, the group said.

The United Nations has warned that the country risks plunging into a civil war if the warring sides in the 14-month uprising don’t adhere to the cease-fire that went into effect on April 12.

“If this opportunity is not seized, I fear that what joint special envoy Kofi Annan has warned about will come to pass: a full-scale civil war with catastrophic effects within Syria and across the region,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Violence has continued despite a cease-fire brokered by Annan last month, and the U.N.-backed peace plan is the only chance to stabilize the country, Ban said.

“There is no escaping the reality that we see every day: innocent civilians dying, government troops and heavy armor in city streets, growing numbers of arrests and allegations of brutal torture, an alarming surge in the use of IEDs and other explosive devices,” he said.

Opposition members and world leaders have accused President Bashar al-Assad of failing to observe the truce and cracking down on protesters despite his pledge not to.

Attacks have gone on an almost daily, including a bomb blast Wednesday near a convoy of U.N. observers entering the southern city of Daraa.

There were no casualties among the observers, but the Syrian government said 10 Syrian soldiers were wounded, Ban said in a statement.

An activist group reported that at least 20 people were killed in attacks across the country Wednesday, mostly in Homs, Hama and Aleppo.

Syria has become a grave concern for the international community, according to Ban.

“More than 9,000 people have been killed during the last 14 months. This is totally unacceptable and an intolerable situation,” he said.

The observer mission in the nation comprises 70 monitors to ensure the cease-fire is implemented. The monitors are operating in Damascus, Homs, Hama, Idlib, Aleppo and Daraa. The number is regularly expanding, with the mandated total of 300 observers expected within weeks.

By the CNN Wire Staff


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