Reports from Syria's northern city of Aleppo say some 40 people have been killed and 90 injured by three car bombs that exploded in a government-controlled district.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the explosions on October 3 targeted a military officers' club in Aleppo's main Saadallah al-Jabari Square. Citing medical sources, it said most of the dead and injured were government troops.
The opposition activist group also says a fourth car bomb exploded on the same day near Aleppo's Chamber of Commerce, a few hundred meters from the square.
Syrian state television says the explosions were near the Aleppo Palace Hotel in Saadallah al-Jabari Square -- a hotel in the western part of Aleppo where both local and foreign reporters were staying.
It blamed the explosions on "terrorists," a term it regularly uses to describe rebels who are fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The state broadcaster's initial reports said at least 27 people were killed and 75 wounded. But it said casualties were expected to rise as victims are dug out from beneath the rubble.
Footage shown on Syrian state television showed massive damage to the hotel building and nearby cafes with rubble piled high in the street.
Aleppo has seen months of heavy fighting between government troops and rebels with some districts changing hands several times.
Last week, rebel fighters announced that they had launched a new offensive in a bid to capture government-controlled parts of the city.
Meanwhile, activists in the coastal province of Latakia say Syria's army sent reinforcements to Kordaha, the hometown of Assad's family, after overnight protests against the regime descended into violence.
Abu Rami, a Syrian opposition activist in Latakia, says dozens of tanks entered Kordaha on the morning of October 3 to try to contain the situation.
Razmi said at least 20 people were arrested during a government crackdown in the town on the same day.
Activists say more than 30,000 people have been killed in the 18-month uprising against Assad's regime.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa