Several civilians were killed by a car bomb in central Damascus on Sunday, according to witness reports, as President Bashar Assad prepared to meet international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for talks about a possible truce in Syria's civil war.
Ambulances sped to the site and security forces cut off access to the site near Bab Touma, one of the seven gates of the historic Old City.
Several cars were burnt, the witnesses told Reuters.
An Associated Press reporter at the scene said he saw blood stains in the street and on the pavements. He said glass windows of several shops in the area were shattered and at least four cars were completely burnt.
For a fourth straight day, Turkey's border with Syria is the scene of intense fighting. NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin reports.
Damascus residents said Assad's forces shelled several districts on the edge of the Syrian capital overnight. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors violence across the country, said 140 people were killed in Syria on Saturday.
A report by regional news channel Al Jazeera quoted Syrian state television station SANA as saying said 10 people were killed and that the blast was caused by an explosive device planted under a car by an "armed terrorist group" - the term the regime uses for the rebels seeking to topple Assad.
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