06/01/2012 10:35 GMT

Syria: Suicide Bus Bomb Blast Kills 25 In Damascus

A bomb blast on a bus in the Syrian capital Damascus has left up to 25 people dead and 46 wounded, as the capital sees a surge in violence.

According to Syria's state Sana news agency the blast tore through the Midan neighbourhood in the heart of the city.

"The attack took place in a heavily populated working-class neighbourhood near a school" and "killed and wounded dozens of people," said state television, as it broadcasted footage of rescuers gathering body parts and the blood-spattered street.

The news agency also reported both civilian and security force personnel casualties.

Violence in Damascus has been rising over the past two months. In December two car bombs caused carnage outside the heavily guarded compounds of the intelligence agencies, killing at least 44 people and wounding 166.

The authorities blamed it on terrorists. Opposition activists on the other hand accused the government of staging them to damage their standing.

No one has claimed responsibility for the deaths yet.

"We're expecting more of these bombings in the coming days," Colonel Ammar al-Wawi, a Syrian Army defector who works with insurgent group the Free Syrian Army told the New York Times. "This regime is seeking to spread chaos in Syria".

Arab League observers are currently on a tour of Syria country to investigate President Assad's violent crackdown on a popular uprising against his regime that has been destabilising his authoritarian rule since last March.