Car bombing, fighting mar Syrian holiday truce

BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Violence again
erupted across Syria on Friday, marring a shaky
temporary truce during the Eid al-Adha Muslim
holiday. A car bomb exploded in Damascus and
forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad clashed with rebels
across Syria as activists reported at least 70 deaths.
Families gathered at a fair in Damascus on Friday,
to mark the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday. Children
enjoyed rides in the al-Mazzeh park, which is in one
of the calmest neighborhoods of the Syrian capital,
but a powerful car bombing elsewhere in the capital
quickly dashed any hopes that a shaky holiday
cease-fire would hold for four days.
The bomb exploded near a makeshift playground
built to celebrate the holiday in the Daf al-Shok
area, a Sunni neighborhood.
According to state TV and activists, at least five
people were killed and more than 30 others were
Meanwhile, fighting erupted in several towns and
cities across the country as both sides violated the
ceasefire arranged by international peace envoy
Lakhdar Brahimi.
The heaviest fighting took place around the army
base at Wadi al-Daif, near the Damascus-Aleppo
highway, which rebels have been trying to seize
from the army for two weeks.
The Syrian military said it had responded to attacks
by insurgents on army positions, in line with its
announcement that would cease military activity
during the holiday, but reserved the right to respond
to rebel actions.
The short holiday cease-fire was the only thing the
international community could agree on after the
failure of a more ambitious plan for an open-ended
truce and political transition talks by Brahimi’s
predecessor, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, in April.
Brahimi has not said what was supposed to happen
when the truce expires on Monday, an ominous sign
since President Assad and opposition leaders
disagree sharply on how to resolve the conflict.
Assad refuses to resign, while some opposition
leaders say his departure is a prerequisite for any
political talks.

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