BEIRUT—Rebels seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime launched three separate attacks on his security forces around Damascus on Tuesday, killing two ranking officers and rocking the capital with a booby-trapped car, activists and state media said.
The attacks took place as a U.N. team observing Syria's violence-ridden truce was visiting another area near the capital, the restive suburb of Douma. Activists and amateur videos reported shelling and gunfire in that area Tuesday, just a day after 55 people were killed across Syria—most of them in a city the observers had recently visited.
Tuesday's attacks underline the increasing militarization of the 13-month-old conflict and show the effort by Assad's opponents to chip away at the security services he relies upon to quash dissent.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one intelligence officer was killed in the capital's Barzeh neighborhood but gave no information on how he died.
Separately, an army truck blew up as it was driving through downtown Damascus. The blast in Marjah Square near the Iranian Cultural Center left blood and shattered glass on the road. The truck's driver and two passengers in a nearby car were injured and taken to a hospital.
Security officials at the scene said the truck driver did not appear to be implicated in the blast, suggesting the explosives had been planted on the vehicle. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The Syrian government did not immediately comment on those attacks.
The state news service, however, said "terrorists" killed a retired lieutenant colonel and his brother in a Damascus suburb in a third attack.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. CONTINUE . . . . .