'car bomb' blast kills 17 in Syria
At least 17 people been killed by a car bomb in the Syrian capital Damascus, according to state television.
A further 14 people, all of them civilians, are reported to have been wounded in the blast.
A spokesman from Syria's ministry of information told the BBC the number of casualties was expected to rise.
Witnesses say security forces have cordoned off the area, which is close to an important Shia shrine and a security post.
The Sayida Zeinab shrine, in the south of the capital, is popular with Iraqi, Iranian and Lebanese pilgrims.
Syria's Dunia television said the car was packed with 200kg (440 lbs) of explosives.
Witnesses told Reuters news agency that windows had been shattered on some industrial buildings about 100m (yards) away and the remains of a destroyed car were strewn across the road.
Government officials were investigating the incident, said the ministry spokesman.
The ministry told the BBC that they could not say if the blast had been a terror attack but that it appeared that was the case.
Syrian Interior Minister Bassam Abdul-Majid described the explosion as a "terrorist act" but declined to say who he believed was responsible.
"We cannot accuse any party. There are ongoing investigations that will lead us to those who carried it out," he said