UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday "strongly condemned" two suicide car bombings in Syria and called on all sides to cease armed violence and distance themselves from "indiscriminate bombings and other terrorist attacks."

"The secretary-general strongly condemns today's attacks in Damascus," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters.

"It's an urgent call from him on all sides fully to comply with their obligations to cease armed violence in all its forms, and to protect civilians, as well as to distance themselves from indiscriminate bombings and other terrorist attacks," he said.

Two suicide car bombers killed 55 people and wounded 372 in Damascus earlier on Thursday, Syrian state media said, in the deadliest attacks in the Syrian capital since an uprising against President Bashar Assad began 14 months ago.

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