A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near a compound of the Syrian intelligence on the outskirts of Damascus on Monday, a Syrian official said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the blast in Harasta, a suburb of the nation's capital, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The blast could be heard across Damascus and was followed by armed clashes, said the pro-government TV station Al-Ikhbariya. Ambulances and fire trucks were seen driving to the scene.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Syrian rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad are increasingly targeting security compounds and symbols of the regime in Damascus.

In late September, one of Syria's top military command buildings in the capital Damascus was the target of two large explosions.

Residents and state television said the explosions struck the General Staff Command Building (Hay'at al Arkan) in the Umayad Square in central Damascus, which is one of the top military headquarters in the country.

The rebel Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for twin bombings.

"The Free Army hit the General Staff building in Damascus' Umayyad Square and dozens were killed in the two powerful blasts," the information office for the FSA military council said in a statement. Syria's Information Minister Omran Zoabi had earlier said that the blasts caused only material damage.