President Bashar Assad's regime has launched a new and sweeping arrest campaign of opposition activists and intellectuals in the past few weeks, according to Western analysts and diplomats.
The growing tally of arrests has gone largely unnoticed, overshadowed by the daily violence that threatens to jeopardize the U.N. peace plan. But in combination, both are undermining the already faint hopes of peace.
A pair of powerful explosions ripped through Syria's capital, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest attack in the country's 14-month uprising. Some 170 people were wounded, according to state television.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but local TV reports called the attacks "terrorist bombings".
The explosions damaged a military intelligence building and left blood and human remains in the streets, according to The Associated Press.