DAMASCUS, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- A spate of blasts and clashes rattled Syria on Wednesday, drawing dim shadow over a possible cease-fire during the upcoming holiday of Muslim Eid al-Adha that will start on Friday.
A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car at early time Wednesday at a military checkpoint in the northern province of Raqqa, killing eight people and injuring seven, local media said.
According to the report, the bomber slammed his car against the checkpoint located in al-Qantari area, on the road between the northern provinces of Raqqa and Hasaka.
Soon after, armed groups blasted a gas pipeline also in Hasaka, the pro-government Sham FM radio reported, adding that the blasted pipeline connects Hasaka province with the coastal city of Banyas.
In the afternoon, a car rigged with explosives went off in the Damascus suburb of Daf al-Shouk, killing four and injuring 11 others, the state TV said, adding that the explosion left material damages to nearby buildings.
Other media reports said the blast had been carried out by an Afghani suicide bomber, in sign of the increasing number of foreign jihadists operating in Syria.
The blast site is adjacent to Damascus' battered district of Tadamun, which has emerged as a hotspot in Syria's 19-months-old crisis.
Opposition activists posted an online amateur video purporting to show the blast site from a distance. They said the blast was caused by an explosive device that ripped through a checkpoint of Syrian forces in the Daf al-Shouk area, adding that the rebels "al- Ansari Battalion" claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
Also on Wednesday, Syria's state media said that armed groups massacred 25 civilians in the Damascus suburb of Douma, and that children and women were among the killed. It added that the exact area where the carnage took place is a stronghold of the extremists "Islam Brigade."
However, the activists' network Local Coordination Committees accused the government troops of being behind the carnage.
After the carnage news, Syria's ministries of information and foreign affairs denounced the massacre and blamed the countries that support the armed rebels of having a hand in the recent escalation of violence.
The Information Ministry said the carnage has come to serve political agendas ahead of the meeting of the UN Security Council on Syria, adding that such style has become typical for the armed groups.
The ministry reiterated accusation against some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and France, of funding and supporting the armed groups in Syria, saying that such role is an evidence of the international involvement in the unrest-torn country.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry said "the armed terrorist groups and their backers are still shedding the Syrian blood in a way that runs against all the humanitarian values and in a repetitive timing that always precedes the UN Security Council's sessions."
In a letter sent to the UN and other affiliated humanitarian organizations, the ministry shouldered the UN the responsibility to carry out its role in countering terrorism regardless of its perpetrators, backers and financers.
Meanwhile, clashes between the Syrian troops and the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) were reported to have continued in several hotspots nationwide, particularly in Idlib and Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activists' group, said 150 Syrians had been killed so far on Wednesday. It said the dead include 73 unarmed civilians, 12 of whom were children.
As the violence grinds on, the UN-Arab League (AL) joint special representative Lakhdar Brahimi to Syria said Wednesday that the Syrian government accepted his proposal for a cease-fire during the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday.
"The Syrian authorities will issue a statement on the cease- fire Thursday," Brahimi said in the Egyptian capital Cairo, noting that he had contacted many fighting groups in Syria, and most of them accepted the cease-fire.
"If the cease-fire initiative could succeed, other measures would be built on it and the cease-fire would be implemented on a wider scale and within a complete political process," Brahimi added.
After Brahimi's statement, Syria's Foreign Ministry made it clear that the Syrian army's general command is still studying the truce proposal, saying in a brief statement that the last decision will be announced Thursday.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday welcomed the truce initiative, and called on "all regional and international actors to use their influence on the parties concerned to facilitate the implementation of the cease-fire and cessation of violence."
The Security Council welcomed the important and timely initiative of Brahimi "for a cease-fire and a cessation of violence in all its forms during the period of Eid al-Adha," the statement said.
While the international community is seemingly pushing for the cease-fire, the chances for such a move are slim.
The rebel FSA reportedly announced they would abide by the truce, but stipulated the government's halt of military operations first.
However, the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaida-linked extremists' group currently operating in Syria, has reportedly refused the truce. Little is known about the group but it has claimed responsibility for the bulk of blasts that had struck army and security installations in Syria and claimed the lives of scores of soldiers and civilians alike.
Brahimi, the international envoy, spent four days in Syria earlier this week in a bid to garner support for his proposal.
The Syrian leadership has shown a relatively vague attitude towards the truce, emphasizing that it welcomes any peaceful initiative to end the crisis in Syria and simultaneously makes that conditional on receiving beforehand international assurances that the opposition groups, or what it calls as "armed terrorist groups," would initiate the truce. However, Brahimi made it clear that he has promises from the armed groups, not guarantees.
The armed rebels and the jihadists in Syria have grown more resourceful recently amid reports that they have already acquired portable air-defense systems.
Meanwhile, Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said Wednesday that verified information shows that Syria's opposition has acquired portable air-defense systems produced abroad.
"The General Staff has information that armed rebels fighting against Syrian government forces have man-portable air-defense systems made in various countries, including the U.S.-made Stingers," Makarov told reporters. "Although the Americans denied delivering anything (lethal) to the rebels, we have reliable evidence," he added.
Such chaos casts dim prospects over having a cease-fire soon in Syria amid the high mistrust amongst the conflicting parties on ground and the insincere intentions by Western powers, local analysts said.