Syria's defense minister was killed Wednesday in a suicide bombing at a national security building in Damascus, state-run media reported.
A suicide bomber targeted the building in the Syrian capital Wednesday, state-run media said, fueling reports that the violence of the Syrian crisis has reached the seat of President Bashar al-Assad's power.
Syrian state-run TV reported that the bombing took place during a meeting of ministers and security officials,but did not immediately mention casualties.
The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said initial reports indicate a car bomb caused an "intense explosion" in Damascus.
Chaos ensued elsewhere in Damascus when loud explosions and heavy gunfire echoed through the city, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.
Meanwhile, in the besieged city of Homs, "regime forces have intensified the shelling by using helicopter gunships, artillery and mortars in the city," the LCC said.
By midday Wednesday, at least 15 people had been killed across the country, the opposition network said.