A deadly explosion tore through Syria’s capital of Damascus on Friday in what Syrian state television is dubbing a terrorist attack by a suicide bomber.
Syrian state television has reported that the death toll from the bombing has killed at least 25 people and wounded 46.
Opposition forces are alleging that the Syrian government was behind the attack in an attempt to thwart a planned protest in the capital on Friday.
“The explosion in Damascus today is the work of the Syrian intelligence because they had information that a massive protest was planned in the al-Midan district,” a high-ranking Free Syrian Army officer told CNN.
The FSA is a group of military defectors fighting against the Assad regime that vowed only days ago to begin carrying out an extensive operation against government forces.
A defector of the Assad regime told the news agency that the Syria has been paying gang members to shoot protesters since March, but that the situation has gotten out of control.
“Bashar al-Assad is no longer able to control these human monsters. We have reached a phase of genocide, and this can’t be tolerated under any circumstances,” Syrian defector Mahmoud al-Haj Hamad told CNN.
Hamad was the dormer financial inspector in Syria’s Ministry of Defense in Damascus prior to defecting from the Assad regime to Egypt.
Friday's explosion came on the same day that Al-Arabiya TV reported that Syrian forces shot at Arab League monitors.
Monitors from the league arrived in Syria last week but have sustained substantial criticism from opposition and human rights groups, who argue that bloodshed in Syria has not subsided despite their presence.
The league has admitted to making mistakes and may seek help carrying out its mandate in Syria from the United Nations. The U.N. has estimated that over 5,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in Syria 10 months ago.