Smoke this morning above Army Staff Headquarters in Damascus after two explosions
1820 GMT: Syria. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has upheld his initiative of a four-nation contact group --- Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran --- and declared, "The bloodshed in Syria and the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded, must be stopped."
A full English-language text of the speech has been posted.
1720 GMT: Syria. Back from a long break for a business meeting to find the official casualty figure for today's double bombing near Army Staff Headquarters is six dead –-- t four security guards and two suicide bombers --- and 14 wounded.
Security has been increased in the area of the explosions with roadblocks and checkpoints. A resident said, "Most of the people who work at governmental institutions could not go to work today."
Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees report one of the bloodiest days in the 18-month conflict, with 290 people killed by security forces. The 162 dead in Damascus and its suburbs include a claim of 107 people slain in a mass killing in al-Thiabieh. There are also 37 killed in Deir Ez Zor Province, 26 in Homs Province, and 25 in Daraa Province.