Neil MacFarquhar and Hwaida Saad
NY Times
May 10, 2012

At least 55 people were killed and some 372 injured by two powerful car bombs that exploded outside a key intelligence compound in Damascus early on Thursday, Syrian state television reported. The blasts peeled open a new, more treacherous front in the struggle for the country.

The bombings tore off the front of a nine-story intelligence headquarters and left a grisly scene on the crowded highway in front of it, with incinerated corpses and many burning vehicles emitting plumes of black smoke visible across the capital. Pictures of the gruesome, bloody wreckage with severed body parts scattered about were shown repeatedly on state television and other official media.

The dead and injured included both soldiers and civilians. At least 11 soldiers were dead, said a source at the military hospital in the Mezzeh neighborhood where the bulk of the casualties from the security services were taken. The Ministry of Health also said that 15 dead were unidentified remains.

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