DAMASCUS: A car bomb on Tuesday rocked central Damascus, a day after nearly 60 were killed across Syria despite a hard-won ceasefire and the upcoming deployment of 300 UN peace monitors.
Three people were wounded when the blast went off in the Marjeh district of the capital, Syrian state television reported, blaming "terrorists", the government term for rebels.
"An armed terrorist group detonated the car bomb near the Yelbugha complex in Marjeh, wounding three people and causing damage to nearby buildings," it said.
State news agency SANA said the bomb was placed under the car of an unsuspecting man, who was among those hurt.
The blast came as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said violence across the country killed 54 civilians and five soldiers on Monday, despite the tenuous ceasefire.
Thirty-one of the civilians died in a government assault on the Arbaeen neighbourhood in the central city of Hama and 13 others, including women and children, died in a mine blast in the village of Jarjanaz, in northwestern Idlib province.
Video footage posted online by activists showed a street in Arbaeen with large pools of blood and women weeping. Two young girls were shown in one video crying and holding up the picture of a man.
"This is my father," cries one girl.
The violence occurred despite the April 12 ceasefire, and the presence of an advance team of UN monitors to implement the truce.
The Observatory said clashes also took place Tuesday in two suburbs of Damascus and gunfire was reported the town of Bosra al-Sham, in southern Daraa province.
The persistent bloodshed 12 days into the ceasefire has sparked growing criticism from opposition activists of the fledgling UN mission, which now numbers just 11 observers out of a planned initial deployment of 30. (AFP)